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Logjam over guarding new line to be over soon

Uncertainty over who will guard the showcase airport expressline is likely to be over soon.
Hindustan Times | By Subhendu Ray, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2011 12:11 AM IST

Uncertainty over who will guard the showcase airport expressline is likely to be over soon.

Security arrangement in the expressline metro network had become the point of discord between the home ministry and Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL), Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium.

The ministry wanted to take over the security of the entire network and assign it to CISF, while DAMEPL wanted its own men to handle security. The final arrangements will now be decided once the security audit is completed.

The ongoing security audit that CISF had initiated three days ago will be completed on Monday and based on the audit report responsibilities of both will be decided.

And once the ministry of home affairs gives its security clearance and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) gets prepared to deploy its men, the high-speed metro service will kick-start.

"CISF is conducting a security audit which will be completed in a day. After that it would submit its report to the home ministry. After analysing the audit report security arrangements in the metro network will be decided. The whole process will take just a couple of days," said a source in the home ministry.

A spokesperson DAMEPL, the concessionaire of the 22.7 km line, said: "CISF is scheduled to complete its audit on Monday. The responsibilities of our private security men and CISF will be decided after it is over."

However, sources said, the CISF could depute its men at major security areas like entry and exit points of metro stations on this line, and also provide quick response teams and other emergency services related to security.

Private security men, hired by DAMEPL, on the other hand would possibly be placed inside stations and trains for regular security checks and assistance to commuters, added sources.

The concessionaire had promised to start the high-speed metro service on the airport express line immediately after receiving safety clearance from commissioner of metro rail safety (CMRS). But even after a fortnight of receiving a nod from the commissioner, DAMEPL could not start the service.

Mangu Singh, director (works), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, however, said: "The audit also includes manpower survey and we will have a clear idea about areas of responsibilities once it is over. But opening of the service will depend on availability of manpower in CISF."

DAMEPL had earlier hired 70 men from different security agencies including Special Protection Group, National Security Guard, Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force in its private security team for the airport expressline.

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