In a recent proposal sent to the Union Home Ministry, the Urban Development Ministry is learnt to have recommended that the Delhi Police was more suited to securing the Delhi Metro than the Central Industrial Security Force which took over soon after metro services were launched in the Capital.
However, the proposal itself is not in sync with the meeting between all the stakeholders last November where it was unanimously agreed upon that status quo be maintained as far as security was concerned, said sources. The meeting was attended by representative of both the ministries and the two security agencies.
In the recommendation, the UD Ministry had written that it “is of the view that law and order is a State subject. Accordingly, assigning security duties to Delhi Police would be better -- in view of better integration, coordination with local police, crowd management and overall law and order besides economies of scale”.
As per the existing arrangement, the 129 metro stations in the city are manned by nearly 5,000 CISF personnel while the mandate of the Delhi Police is to investigate crimes committed in the wagons or station premises. A source told The Hindu that the total number of Delhi Police personnel deployed at the stations is nearly a tenth of the ideal strength that it would need to perform the limited roles that it has been assigned at present.
It is also learnt that in the November meeting, too, the Delhi Police had brought up the issue of manpower shortage and sought permission to bolster its strength. Asked if the local police, which is already battling a manpower shortage, will be able to manage the additional responsibility in the event of the Home Ministry accepting the recommendation, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said they had been doing it before the CISF arrived on the scene.
In the first few months after the launch of metro services, the Delhi Police looked after the overall security but later paved the way for the CISF. What has changed between then and now is the network has widened and the footfall has increased, both factors vital for the security aspect.
Then there is the issue of specialised training that the CISF, over the years, has provided to its personnel. The CISF has special units such as its own dog and bomb disposal squads.
(With inputs from agencies)