City airport has no surveillance system to guard boundaries | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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City airport has no surveillance system to guard boundaries

Keeping the city's airport premises free of trespassers has left the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) too short-staffed to focus on improving security cover within the airport. The Mumbai airport received 113 terror alerts in 2009 alone.

mumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2010 02:36 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Keeping the city's airport premises free of trespassers has left the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) too short-staffed to focus on improving security cover within the airport. The Mumbai airport received 113 terror alerts in 2009 alone.

The CISF wants to focus on areas such as the airport entrance and the airport building because of alerts of possible fidayeen attacks and hijacks, but it has not been able to do so because the busiest airport in India does not have a Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS). Instead, it's busy guarding the airport boundary walls.

A combination of three surveillance systems — CCTVs, infrared rays and radio frequency — to control trespassing, the PIDS was made mandatory for all Indian airports in 2007 by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, which however has no power to ensure its decisions are implemented.

The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which has been running the airport since 2006, placed an order for the equipment only earlier this year. "We have placed order for material to enhance security of the airport perimeter. Work will begin soon," said a MIAL spokesperson, refusing to say when it would be operational.

"The PIDS will free some manpower that can be used to enhance security cover at other crucial sections," said Jitender Singh Negi, senior commandant, CISF.

Though passenger volumes have increased by 21 per cent since 2006, the number of CISF personnel at the airport is 2,000, against a requirement of 3,000.