Passenger security at risk as CISF complains of manpow

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New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) With passenger traffic at airports having increased by nearly 45 per cent in the last two years, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is facing manpower crunch leading to compromising with passenger and personnel safety.

CISF Director General R K Das while addressing the media admitted that the force was facing shotage of manpower due to which several apparatus like X-ray machines at the airports were lying idle.

''Shortage of personnel strains the work force and adds to their stress levels.'' Mr Das said this shortage leads to the burdening of the jawans with extra work which was the chief cause of stress.

He, however, added that counselling of personnel was being resorted to in order to address the problem.

Elaborating, Mr Das said to cope with the growing traffic at the airports, three shifts of eight hours each had been planned to man the security set-up, but only two shifts were sanctioned.

''Only two shifts had been sanctioned though we want three shifts to manage the affairs at the airports.'' Denying that shortage had led to compromising of security of the passengers and the personnel as well, as was evident in a recent incident in which a teenager managed to reach to the wheels of a plane at Delhi Aiprort, the DG said, ''we have not let the shortage of manpower affect the security aspect.'' ''We are able to manage the affairs as per need basis,'' he added.

He however, find it hard to explain why the extra force was sought to be sanctioned if he was able to manage the state of affairs with the current strength.

To this Mr Das said, ''we seek sanctions as per requirements in specific areas.'' He also enumerated the laurels gathered by the world's largest industrial security force (in government sector) in the past years, while discounting any moves to rename CISF in view of its 'non-industrial' security concerns in recent years.

''There is no plan to change the name of CISF as of now, since 85 per cent of our concern still lies with the same set-ups for which the force was initiated.'' Only about 13-14 per cent of our deployments were at non-Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) or vital installations like the Taj Mahal, he said, adding that there were ''no private sector deployments''.

He also said taking over of security at airports, discoms and the Delhi Metro was a major challenge and a novel experience for the force.+ ''Of the total work force of 105,000, while nearly 300 CISF personnel were taking care of the concerns of discoms in Delhi, about 1,633 men were deployed at Delhi Metro stations and another nearly 2,200 at airports.'' Mr Das also said his force was equipping itself, along with others, for disaster management in case of an emergency and added that of the total eight battalions reared by the National Disaster Managment Authority (NDMA), two were of the CISF.

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