CISF cops need new shoes as T3 pulls carpet from under their feet
According to a CISF officer who asked not to be named, the force has different type of shoes which are used in combat role, for parade and a separate one for training. For airports, the specification for shoes was not separate, and the force is trying to experiment with thatUpdated: May 07, 2019, 10:15 IST
The carpet’s gone, but there’s a new problem at Delhi’s Terminal 3. Without the much-maligned padding that got hate reviews for its design, the floor is proving too slippery for the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) staff’s daily exercises. So, a special committee is now in place to replace the shoes of about 4,000 personnel.
The decision to change the footwear for the paramilitary staff came after a few mock chases during security drills proved too tricky. They found out that without the carpet, chasing suspects was too challenging and many were falling.
“The carpet has been removed from parts of T3 and during drills we found that the existing shoes are too heavy and do not have a good grip for the floor. With the carpet, we never realized the issue but now that the issue has been raised, the committee will finalise the design for new shoe,” said a CISF officer posted at the airport, who asked not to be named.
Installed in 2010, the carpet at Delhi airport’s Terminal 3 set off a divisive public debate on aesthetics — making it one of the most discussed public installations in the national capital.
The carpet, spread over 170,000 square metres, was manufactured in Mulshi, near Pune, and transported to Delhi in pieces. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates Delhi airport, never revealed the cost of carpet and maintained that it is part of the project cost of Terminal 3, which was ~6,750 crore. The cost of replacing the shoes of the CISF personnel at the airport is expected to be ~35-40 lakh. And that’s why the committee will decide if it is cost-effective or not.
According to a second CISF officer, who asked not to be named, the force has different type of shoes which are used in combat role, for parades, and a separate one for training. For airports, the specification for shoes was not separate, and the force is trying to experiment with that. An email query sent to DIAL on Monday remained unanswered.
DIAL, in August 2018, said that the process of removing the carpet would start in late October and be completed in a phased manner by the end of the year.
“Apart from being slippery, another issue with the existing shoes is that it is too heavy and, in a phased manner, we will replace it across the country, starting with Delhi airport. We have received models from four to five companies, and will take a call soon,” said a third CISF officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Several complaints have previously been directed at the carpet, this person added. Passengers have complained about the slow movement of luggage trolleys on it; security officials have complained about difficulties in walking the dog squad; and many have objected to its appearance. “The shoes given in forces are heavy and are usually purchased in bulk. Since security should be of utmost importance, the shoes for such role should be light and firm on the floor and also it should not pose any challenge in running. At places like airports, shoes should be of specialised specification considering all possible emergency situations,” said LN Rao, a security specialist, who retired as deputy commissioner of police (DCP) from Delhi Police.