Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not enough room for security at BIA

Not enough room for security at BIA

Heavily armed personnel have been posted at the airport; but they have been deprived of toilets, water

Santosh Kumar RB. Bangalore



A plan to provide tighter security to the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) could not reach fruition. Reason: Lack of space. The BIA failed to provide accommodation within its premises to the police contingent that would be led by an assistant commissioner of police (ACP).
Ever since the new Bengaluru International Airport launched operations in May 2008, there have been security concerns. Airports across the country have, in recent times, been placed on high alert after security agencies issued advisories warning of heightened terror threats. Most recently, a crude bomb was discovered intact in a flight that had taken off from Bangalore after it landed at Trivandrum airport.
Plans were mooted in 2008 to upgrade security at the Bangalore airport by having a separate police sub-division cater exclusively to it. The model for the airport security plan was the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in New Delhi, where a deputy commissioner of police is posted to look after security.
Impressed by the arrangements at the airport in the national capital, Bangalore police decided to form one more sub-division under the DCP, North East. At present, the North East DCP comprises the sub-divisions of Yelahanka, Sampigehalli, Devanahalli.
The new sub-division created under the North East DCP, it was planned, would cater to the needs of the BIA. "Like the security for the Vidhana Soudha, it was planned that a separate division would look after security at BIA," said a senior police officer.
As plans to introduce the new sub-division fell through, city police have been considering clubbing the roles of regulating traffic in the area and providing security. The ACP posted to regulate traffic in the area would double as the one in charge of airport security.
Deputy commissioner of police (North-East) Basavaraja Malagatti, said that Devanahalli sub-division was first headed by ACP BB Ashok Kumar. Ever since he was transferred to Frazer Town a year-and-a-half ago, no one was posted to replace him. That was when the police thought of withdrawing the move to introduce a special sub-division for the airport. Malagatti said, "The BIAL has 400 flights, half as many as the IGI. That was why it was decided that the ACP heading the Devanahalli sub-division could also take care of airport

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