Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Airports to foot the bill for security equipment, CISF to guard it

The question to who will foot the bill for security cover at Indian Airports has finally been answered. According to a highly placed source, the brainstorming which took place during a high-level meeting on airport security chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has yielded results.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will guard the airports for which MHA would pay, but equipments including scanners, X-ray machines and other gadgets will have to be purchased by the concerned airport itself. This may include advanced perimeter intrusion detection system and cyber security systems at airports.
According to sources, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier proposed in the meeting that securing airports was a sovereign function and thus, the government should bear the cost. The Ministry of Home Affairs, concurred by only partially but had proposed a part of the cost could be borne by the airport or passengers. But it was strongly disagreed upon.
"It was discussed in the meeting. We agree that airport security is a sovereign function, but we proposed that the airport security expenditure needs to be shared by passengers and airport operators but now it has been decided that airport authority will bear the cost of security equipment, while MHA will pay for the CISF," a minister who was part of the meeting told India Today.
The airport would need to consult the force for such equipment. The source said, "The airport cannot just buy any equipment, it has to buy equipment in consultation with the CISF as it is their manpower which will ultimately handle the equipment. There cannot be a mismatch. The force and airport authority needs to work in tandem."
17/10/16 Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu/India Today
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