The government has accorded its final sanction for the deployment of an additional 5,000 CISF personnel to better guard the increasing network and burgeoning passenger load on the Delhi Metro network, officials said Sunday.
They said the Union home ministry has also enhanced the security-command structure of the force, deployed at the mass rapid rail network, with the sanction of one more supervisory post in the rank of deputy inspector general (DIG).
With the new manpower, the Delhi Metro will become the largest single unit under the security cover of the Central Industrial Security Force in the country. The about 1.70-lakh-personnel force is a paramilitary that functions under the home ministry and is tasked to guard 61 civil airports of the country.
The Delhi Metro network, at present, has about 9,000 personnel deployed to guard about 270 stations over a 370-km network spread in the national capital region, including adjoining cities of Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Out of the 9,000 CISF personnel in Delhi Metro security unit, about 7,000 are deployed on a regular or sanctioned basis while the rest are deputed on an 'internal security pattern' or loan basis to meet the increasing demand of manpower owing to opening of new routes and stations, a senior home ministry official told PTI.
The CISF and central intelligence agencies had sought regularising the loan component and sanction for more personnel to effectively guard the ever-increasing network which receives a heavy footfall each day and is sensitive from the point of a threat perception like a terrorist attack or sabotage, he said.
Hence, the government has now accorded full sanction for deploying over 5,000 more personnel of the force in the Delhi Metro network and with this addition, the total strength of the force will now be over 12,000 troops, he said.
An in-principle approval to the proposal was given by the government last year but the financial sanction was received recently, the official said.
Given this strength-enhancement, the government has also sanctioned another DIG-rank post which will soon be made operational, he said.
At present the CISF security unit in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is headed by a DIG-rank officer and with the posting of the second such officer, the operations of the multiple lines of the network is expected to be divided between the two, a senior CISF officer said.
The enhanced strength of the force also makes the Delhi Metro as CISF's largest deployment unit in the country as the other big ones like Delhi and Mumbai airports have only about 6,000-6,500 personnel each, he said.
This metro security component will have about about 1,500 women personnel, he added.
The force, that is deployed on a manpower requirement basis, has units ranging from 30 troops to 6,500 personnel at airports and strategic installations in the aerospace, nuclear, historical monuments and private sector domain.
The Delhi Metro network is now spread across three phases with about 270 stations and it witnesses a footfall of about 27 lakh passengers daily.
The force is in-charge of overall security of the Delhi Metro where it not only frisks commuters and scans their baggages, it also provides an armed anti-terror cover to the facility.