Policemen on duty at international airport facing hardship

K.V. Subramanya

The police station is 10 km away at Devanahalli town

Need seen for full-fledged police station

The cabin cannot accommodate two men at a time

CHICKBALLAPUR: Policemen working at the Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli have been put to inconvenience as they have not been provided even the basic facilities required for discharging their duties effectively.

Although it has been nearly seven months since the airport started commercial operations, the police have not been provided proper accommodation there.

The police have been functioning from a 6 foot x 8 foot cabin. The airport police station is now situated at Devanahalli town, 10 km from the airport.

“In the changed security scenario, there is a need to have a full-fledged police station at the airport, where we can store weapons and other equipment, and also proper resting rooms for the policemen,” sources in the police told The Hindu.

The small cabin provided by Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), the airport operator, is too congested.

It cannot even accommodate two personnel at the same time.

After the Mumbai terror strike, the police deployment at the airport has been increased and around 200 commandos are working in shifts.

After, and in between, the shift hours, the hapless policemen are forced to take rest in open areas as there are no resting rooms.

Normally, commandos are given rest for an hour after three hours of duty.

Similarly, the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) personnel, stationed as backup force at the airport, have to spend long hours in vans, the sources said.

On the other hand, people arrested/detained by Immigration and Customs officials for various violations, including drug trafficking, are handed over to the police.

However, the police have no proper facility at the airport to lodge such people and interrogate them, a senior official said.

Further, as there is no facility at the police cabin at the airport to register complaints, people have to go the airport police station at Devanahalli to lodge complaints.

Although land has been allocated for the construction of a police station building on the airport premises, the proposed site is 3 km from the airport terminal.

The policemen working at the airport are envious of the Central Industrial Force (CISF) personnel who take care of the airside security.

For, the personnel from the CISF have adequate restrooms, and also a subsidised canteen.

While making out a case for providing them with such facilities, a police constable said: “We have to shell down hefty amount even to buy a cup of tea and, pay Rs. 2 every time we use the toilets at the airport. Our payscales are indeed much lower than that of the CISF staff.”

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