The case of Vinod Kumar — a 23-year-old who was nabbed by the Central Industrial Security Force’s (CISF) Quick Reaction Team (ORT) while attempting to scale Mumbai airport’s wall a few days ago — has security agencies raising concerns about the possibility of similar incidents taking place in the future, in spite of the recent installation of the Perimeter Intrusion and Detection System (PIDS).
An official from a security agency at the airport, on condition of anonymity, explained, “The system should have detected Kumar and the Joint Co-ordination Control (JCC) should have been alerted. But Kumar was nabbed by the QRT. Had they not been there, he would have entered the airport.” Kumar was later handed over to Thane Mental Hospital, where he was declared ‘mentally deranged’.
High-tech security measures
Earlier this year, mid-day had reported about the city airport’s one-of-a-kind, high-tech security measures, including PIDS, to ensure foolproof security and detect intruders (‘Mumbai’s T2 terminal will keep intruders at bay with wired fences’, January 22).
The system, which runs on taut wire technology, has sensors weaved into a barbed wire fence surrounding the airport perimetre.
When breached, the fence will not only deliver a mild electric shock to the intruder but will also send an alert to the surveillance monitors at the JCC, including the location of the breach.
The state of PIDS, now
On December 21, the PIDS was installed at a stretch of 10 kilometres along the airport perimetre. The CISF personnel are being trained to man the system. According to senior officials, two CISF officers were put in charge of manning the system on Saturday. “Eighty per cent of the installation work, which covers a major area, is done. The remaining area falls under the new portion of the terminal that is still under construction. Installation for the 10 km perimetre is done and the remaining four km will be completed soon. The system will be handed over to CISF in the first week of January,” explained a senior security official, on condition of anonymity. However the official spokesperson of Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd said, “The system is jointly monitored by MIAL and CISF. Kumar’s incident of intrusion was detected by the system. This is an advanced system, which has been installed for the first time at Mumbai Airport.”