Delhi to be state-of-the-art garrison during Games

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) The Indian capital will turn into a state-of-the-art fortress when it hosts the Commonwealth Games in October next year. Delhi Police are buying the latest security gadgets and weapons, recruiting 10,000 additional personnel and even hiring sniffer dogs.

The police and the home ministry are on a last-minute shopping spree to provide foolproof security to the thousands of athletes who will throng the capital along with many more visitors, VIPs included, from all over the world. It is an unprecedented challenge for the capital’s police force, which knows that it will need only half a dozen committed fanatics to spoil the Oct 3-14, 2010, party a la Mumbai.

Official sources said the government would spend a substantial chunk of the $1 billion (Rs.5,000 crore) meant to boost infrastructure for security related aspects.

The home ministry has sanctioned two new police districts for Delhi, besides 11 sub-divisions and 40 police stations with an additional 8,213 personnel in the city. Thus, the number of police stations in Delhi will zoom from 116 in September 2008 to 155 – the highest among Indian cities.

Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal said the new police stations have been raised especially in view of the Commonwealth Games as well as for better policing in the national capital.

“The process of recruitment and training of the men is still under way,” he said. “They are expected to join the police force before the start of the Games.”

Delhi Police are also acquiring 200 new motorcycles for Rs.1.05 crore and 130 new Police Control Room vehicles for Rs.7.75 crore. Another Rs.104.93 crore will be spent on X-ray scanners, door frame metal detectors, hand held metal detectors and communication systems for the Commonwealth Games venues.

Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken added: “As far as security is concerned, there would be no dearth of resources and manpower. The latest technology and the best people are being taken for this event.”

The Games will be the biggest sporting event India will host since the 1982 Asiad. It will attract 5,000 athletes from 53 countries besides about 100,000 visitors. There will be 30,000 volunteers guiding visitors.

Reliable sources told IANS that the government would spend an additional Rs.100 crore for latest state-of-the-art electronic surveillance system to monitor vehicles entering and exiting Delhi and for aerial visual imaging of the entire city. This will be done to prevent explosives entering into the capital.

Over 2,000 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed at the various venues apart from 58 market places like Connaught Place, Nehru Place, Dilli Haat and Lajpat Nagar.

CCTV cameras will also be mounted at 27 border checkposts.

“We are setting up a command and control centre in the police headquarters that will be connected with a separate control room to be set up at the Games Village. It would be jointly monitored by officers of the police and the Intelligence Bureau,” a Delhi Police official told IANS.

Nothing is being left to chance. Some 300 ambulances and over 500 hospital beds will be allocated to deal with any emergency. The police said they have worked out every detail related to security at the venues and of the athletes along with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

“CISF will be deployed outside the venues. Commandos from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will be positioned along with Delhi Police inside the venues,” said one source.

The National Security Guard (NSG) will be tasked with anti-terror operations. All venues will be sealed off a fortnight before the start of the games.

Separate corridors on the roads for athletes will be manned by commandos and sniffer dogs. Delhi Police now have 48 sniffers in the dog squad. It will procure 75 more. Another 50 dogs will be hired for one month during the Games.

If and when athletes visit the capital’s many historical monuments, they will enjoy security cover. And finally, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be roped in for aerial surveillance over the national capital region.

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