34 Indian airports lack CCTV cameras, other basic security equipment
Airports across the country are lacking in basic security equipment like bomb detectors, baggage X-ray machines and walkie-talkies, the CISF has warned.
As many as 34 airports together lack 1,882 CCTV cameras, creating 'dark zones' and comprising security, it said in its annual audit report.
The CISF hasn't named the airports "as it compromises security," but it has informed the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
No X-ray machines, no HHMDs, no DFMDs and no ETDs
Detailing the lacking, the report said seven airports don't have the facility of storing CCTV footage for the normal 30-day period.
At many others, the CCTV systems don't have necessary features, like an alarm to flag suspicious items.
Twenty-six airports lack X-ray machines, three airports need hand-held metal detectors (HHMDs) and eight airports lack door-frame metal detectors (DFMDs).
Explosive trace detectors (ETDs) are needed at 30 airports.
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'Just installing CCTV cameras is not enough'
An official talked about dark zones (places uncovered by cameras), which "may arise due to modification works in terminal-areas or change in layouts." "While installation is one aspect, it must be ensured (CCTVs) are always in working-condition and covering every area," said Shiv Nath, a retired UP cop.
An incident last year put CISF to shame
It was part of a check conducted by the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security.
Incidentally, this came 10 days after the CISF won 'best airport security' in the world for the Delhi Airport.
AAI says they are taking steps,have acquired 402 X-ray machines
An AAI spokesperson said security issues like this are addressed periodically. "The CCTV system is available at all airports. The CISF...along with airport directors carry out periodical surveys for providing additional cameras for further upgradation of CCTVs to cover any dark zones."
"Airport security committee meetings are being conducted on a monthly basis," they added.
Another 402 X-ray machines have also been procured.