How safe is our RGIA?

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RGIA

Hyderabad: Despite being billed as one of the busiest airports in the country, the vicinities of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad continue to remain exposed and vulnerable. The Cyberabad police are literally losing their sleep over several sections of the airport that lack proper CCTV surveillance coverage, which were very recently identified as vulnerable points.

According to the Cyberabad police, despite regular collaboration meetings with the security personnel and top officials from GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) on the issue, a fool-proof plan to install the best available CCTV surveillance technology has not been installed at RGIA.

In the recent meetings with the GHIAL, police department had apparently stressed on the need to have CCTV surveillance cameras at the identified vulnerable spots. “As many as 21 places were identified as vulnerable spots in RGIA. Essentially, these places cover the areas like runway, parking, ticket booking counters and arrival and departure points. The spots were identified based on earlier reported cases,” says Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shamshabad, PV Padmaja.

The top police officials also rue lack of support from GHIAL in taking measures to secure the vicinities of the busy airport. “The proposal to strengthen security and CCTV surveillance had come up several times for discussions during the coordination meetings but action is yet to be initiated on this issue,” says DCP, Shamshabad said.

At present, there are close to 60 cameras that are installed outside the airport. However, all the cameras are of low-resolution, which does not have the night vision abilities. This has made it very difficult for the police to take up surveillance of the immediate vicinities of the airport.

Police officials point out that since low-resolution cameras are installed outside, they are unable to view footage from outside the airport, especially near the parking lot where huge trees block the view.

“Keeping a tab on those moving suspiciously on the airport premises is also difficult,” they maintained. Police officials agree that there is a dire need for installation of high-resolution cameras with night vision capabilities so that suspicions persons and their activities can be tracked, outside the airport as well.

Speaking on the issue, a GHIAL senior official said that the process of installation of surveillance cameras is underway and the work is going to be completed very soon. Commercial operations at RGIA began at the airport in March 2008 following closure of the Begumpet Airport. Over 25 airline companies operate from here to various places across the globe.

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