A clause in the agreement between the Delhi Metro and a Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium allows the latter to determine the security of the Airport Express line and has debarred the Home Ministry to take over the security of the high-speed Metro line.
The ministry has conducted a security audit of the entire 23-km stretch, including its six stations, and submitted the report to the Delhi Metro authorities for its consideration and necessary action."There are some gaps which we want plugged," a Home Ministry official said, without elaborating.
All other operational Delhi Metro stations and lines are guarded by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, while the security of the Airport Express line has been given to three private agencies -- of which two are still getting themselves registered.
"It is a matter of concern for us. Rapid mass transport systems are getting increasingly vulnerable to terror strikes. We hope that the people hired to guard the Airport Express line are well trained to deal with any situation," the official said.
The metro link from New Delhi to IGI Airport corridor is expected to be operational by this month-end. The six stations in the line are New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi Aerocity, Indira Gandhi International Airport and Dwarka Sector-21.
A Reliance Infrastructure Ltd spokesperson had earlier said that the "security of the Airport line will have personnel having rich experience in police, military and paramilitary and are already on-board and that three private security agencies are on-board to provide trained guards and supervisors (for the network).
"The project is ready in all aspects and will be operational immediately after a certificate from the Railway Safety Commissioner."
Reliance has reportedly recruited 10-12 inspectors of the CISF giving them lucrative salaries besides taking over 60 retired men from other forces like the elite SPG, NSG, CRPF and BSF.
The CISF inspectors opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) from the government to join the sensitive project.
According to sources, the consortium is likely to hire the services of the sniffer dogs squad and the commandos of the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of CISF but the normal security checks would be carried out by private securitymen only.