Unmanned and secluded spots of the Delhi Metro stations will now be monitored by special "flying squads" of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a step taken by the paramilitary force to check criminal activities in these vulnerable pockets in the wake of the molestation of a woman passenger last year.
CISF Additional Director General (ADG) Alok K Pateria said the special teams, comprising men and women personnel, would patrol, monitor and scan these "no man's land-like areas" to thwart any nefarious activity.
"These stretches of the Delhi Metro are called unpaid areas as there is no presence of the CISF or any other security personnel. But now, we have deployed our flying squads at these vulnerable spots," he told reporters on the eve of the force's 49th raising day.
Pateria said the mandate of the CISF at these stations started from the paid areas, where the commuters were frisked by the personnel of the force.
While till now, the CISF had vehicle-borne quick reaction teams (QRTs) to respond to any security threat at a cluster of stations, the flying squads would keep an eye on the vulnerable spots at select stations, the ADG said.
A reporter of an English daily was molested by a man at the ITO metro station in November last year and the then CISF chief O P Singh had asked his personnel to enhance the vigil in the unpaid areas of the metro.
CISF Deputy Inspector General (Delhi Metro) Raghubir Lal said the force had also sought a sanction of about 5,000 more personnel as the Delhi Metro network was expanding in the national capital region.
About 9,000 CISF men and women are currently deployed to secure the stations of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
"Over 9,000 CCTV cameras are also helping us secure the metro network," Lal said.
He added that the CISF and the DMRC might soon put in place a permanent system, wherein the passengers would not be allowed to take oversized travel bags to the stations.
A pilot project that was run at seven stations in this context had been successful and the passenger response had also been good, the DIG said.
CISF officials had earlier said oversized bags were a security risk to the metro system and that these bags also led to frequent breakdowns of the X-ray scanning machines.
The Delhi Metro, which has over 150 operational stations, carries about 28 lakh passengers every day on an average.
The CISF is the nodal agency to guard the Delhi Metro, but some areas like the entry and exit points and the passage to the stations -- the unpaid areas -- are not under its cover. These areas are jointly secured by the CISF and the metro unit of the Delhi Police.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)