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Thursday, 21 February, 2019, 10 : 00 AM [IST]

CISF suggests upgrades to man 3 airports in J&K

As per a Hindustan Times report by Faizan Haidar, bulletproof vehicles, explosive detectors, and deployment of 1,200 personnel with latest gadgets are among the measures the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has suggested to secure Jammu, Srinagar and Leh airports, two officials familiar with the matter said.

The security of these three airports in the militancy-hit state of Jammu & Kashmir is likely to be taken over by the CISF from the state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) next month. CISF currently guards 61 of the country’s 100 operational airports.

“We have asked for three bulletproof vehicles, one each for these airports, to patrol the area outside the terminal. Apart from this, we have also requested for bulletproof vehicles for transportation of our staff. And we would like the accommodation (for the staff) to be near the airport as moving personnel long distances is not good idea,” said one of the two, a senior CISF official.

In November, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked CISF to take over the security of these airports following which a joint team of CISF, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) was formed to conduct a security audit.

In its report to the Home Ministry, CISF said it will continue with the practice of stamping hand baggage tags at these sensitive airports. Security on the approach roads to these airports is going to be a major focus area, it added.

It also wants CRPF to continue securing the approach roads while CISF itself will cover the area from departure gate to the airside. CISF will deploy about 1,200 personnel including those from its anti-hijacking and intelligence units at these three airports.

“We have also done an audit of dark zones, which are not covered by CCTV cameras and submitted a requirement for additional cameras. The concourse checking, where passenger luggage is checked at the entry gate itself, will continue, while in some cases, secondary ladder point checking (SLPC) where the passenger is checked just before boarding, may be considered,” said the second person, another CISF official who too asked not to be identified.

Currently, the Jammu & Kashmir police are responsible for frisking of passengers while CRPF provides security to the approach road and the periphery of each of these airports.

The Jammu airport handled nearly 1.4 million passengers in from 2017 to 2018, up from about 1.1 million in 2016-17 while Leh handled almost 7 lakh in 2017-18 against 5.63 lakh the previous year.

The Srinagar airport is the busiest among the three, with

2.44 million passengers from 2017 to 2018, against 2.1 million in 2016-17.

All the airports are either operating beyond their capacity or are about to reach it, so the focus for CISF would be to reduce the waiting time during peak hour, the second CISF official said.

“Jammu airport’s capacity is 6.5 lakh, while Leh’s capacity is 2.5 lakh. Srinagar airport can handle 3 million passengers and is likely to reach its capacity by next year. We will deploy extra personnel during peak hours to clear the rush like we do at other busy airports,” this person added.(Source: Hindustan Times)
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