India's Home Ministry has reportedly formed a special committee which has been tasked to find ways to improve security at airport cargo terminals in the country against terror threats, the Economic Times reported.
It will put together an anti-sabotage and counter-terror plan which can be deployed at the un-guarded air cargo terminals in the country and enhance such systems at those which have an armed
cover of central paramilitary Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The committee will have representatives from the Home Ministry, CISF, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the Intelligence Bureau and some cargo handling agencies.
The report said that at present, nine air cargo terminals at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Nagpur, Calicut and Trivandrum have CISF protection while 28 other major facilities are guarded by private security personnel.
CISF might become responsible for securing all Indian airports
"The committee will find out ways as to how these cargo facilities can be effectively guarded as huge volume of goods, of general and sensitive variety, is transacted from these avenues to country-wide and overseas locations on a daily basis," the ET report quoted a senior security official as saying.
"On the table is the old proposal to allow the CISF to gradually take over security at all such terminals or to devise some new measures as the CISF has limited manpower and its security comes at a cost," the official added.
He said that the committee will talk to all stakeholders as to how a security arrangement can be made at the remaining cargo terminals so that they are not misused by terrorist or other criminals that may sneak in hazardous items.
The passenger terminals also have a bearing on their security if the cargo section is vulnerable. Aviation security is a subject comprising both passenger and cargo terminals, he pointed out.
The Home Ministry recently prepared a proposal to allow the CISF to take over the security at all 98 operational airports in India, which at present are guarded by multiple state and central agencies.
Nol van Fenema