The government has constituted a special committee to suggest ways for better securing airport cargo terminals in the country against terror threats as it has a bearing on the overall safety of adjoining passenger terminals. A senior official in the security establishment said that a committee under its Special Secretary (Internal Security) has been formed by the Home Ministry.
It will chalk out an anti-sabotage and counter-terror plan that can be deployed at the un-guarded air cargo terminals and enhance such systems as those which have an armed cover of CISF. The committee will have representatives from the Home Ministry, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the Intelligence Bureau and few other cargo handling agencies. At present, nine air cargo terminals at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Nagpur, Calicut and Trivandrum have CISF protection while 28 other such major facilities are guarded by private security personnel.
“The committee will find out ways as to how these cargo facilities can be effectively guarded as huge volume of goods, of general and sensitive variety, is transacted from these venues to country-wide and overseas locations on a daily basis. “On the table is the old proposal to allow the CISF to gradually take over security at all such terminals or to devise some new measures as the CISF has limited manpower and its security comes at a cost,” the official said.
The CISF security apparatus is a very professional and capable security instrument, he said, adding the committee will talk to all stakeholders as to how a security arrangement can be made at the remaining cargo terminals so that they are not misused by terrorist or other nefarious elements that may sneak in hazardous items. The passenger terminals also has a bearing on their security if the cargo section is vulnerable. Aviation security is a subject comprising both passenger and cargo terminals, he said.