Survey exposes holes in security at four important govt offices

Aug 07, 2012, 07:42 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

Lack of security guards, unchallenged entry for vehicles and visitors, among others, are common security issues at PMC office, District Collector's office, Central Building and Council Hall; PMC security officer rubbishes findings

It has been a week since four low-intensity blasts disrupted life in the city, but it appears that the government officials are yet to learn a lesson. A survey of four important government offices in the city revealed that security in and around these offices was not up to the mark.

Structures surveyed were Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) office, District Collector’s office, Central Building and Council Hall. Though security guards were deployed at the PMC office main gate, visitors were rarely frisked. Cars and other vehicles are seen entering the office premises freely, without registration or proper search. While metal detectors were installed at the entrance of the main building, not a single security guard was deployed at the spot.

Matter of grave concern: The unmanned entrance of the Pune Municipal Corporation office

Security officer Santosh Pawar denied there were loopholes in security arrangement at the PMC office. He said that security guards were doing their duty and all the visitors were issued gate passes before entering the office premises.

Right to Information (RTI) activist Vivek Velankar, who frequently visits the PMC office, said he has never been stopped and asked for a gate pass or any kind of registration by the security personnel deployed at the office.

Visitors enter District Collector’s office premises without gate pass or registeration

“Several times, the self-imposed political party workers forcefully enter the office premises and no one stops them,” Velankar said. Security arrangements at District Collector’s office, which houses top district-level officials, was outsourced to a private agency. Just one security guard was seen on the office premises and was managing visitors as well as the parking lot. In addition, the main building where the collector’s office is located lacks adequate security arrangement.

Council Hall entrance. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

“Whenever we try to seek information on the lacking security in government offices, the answer we get is ‘shortage of manpower’. Many a time the metal detectors are not functioning, and even if security guards are deployed they never take efforts to check visitors’ bags,” RTI activist Anoop Awasthi said.
The picture wasn’t different at the Central Building and the Council Hall where vehicles and visitors were entering the premises without registration.  

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