28 Nov

Countdown for CWG begins, security cover in place

first_imgFrom helicopters to snipers and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), the national capital will witness unprecedented security arrangements for any sports event ever in the country as the 19th Commonwealth Games starts rolling out on Sunday.A policeman checks the bags of a tourist at the entrance of the Jama Masjid ahead of CWG.Over 100,000 security personnel including gun-toting commandos have being deployed to thwart any threat to the sporting extravaganza.Australian Sports Minister Mark Arbib, who had recently taken a round of the Games Village had said, “Security is very tight and even I had trouble getting in.”While Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal is the overall in charge of the security, the Home Ministry keeps a close tab on all arrangements with Home Minister P Chidambaram taking a keen interest.Defence helicopters with commandos will do an aerial recce of the Games Village and stadiums at regular intervals.The helicopters will receive additional support from three Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which will also be pressed into service to carry out surveillance and keep vigil at regular intervals.According to various security agency sources, security personnel deployed for the Games include about 175 paramilitary companies (about 18,000 personnel) including 3,000 commandos, 100 anti-sabotage teams, 200 specially trained dogs and 15 bomb disposal squads..Moreover, sources said about 150 personnel of the Delhi Police’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) have been trained by the Indian Air Force and the NSG to shoot down suspicious manned or unmanned “flying objects”.Not to forget the Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (CBRN) teams of the NDRF and the Army being deployed as an extra caution. Besides the Army has also been put on standby, the sources said.advertisementWhile there is no intelligence input to pinpoint any specific threat, one cannot take any chances, they said.”We work not just based on specific inputs but also on threat perception. The focus of both domestic and international media is on the Games and any small incident will get lot of publicity,” a source said.Helping out the security personnel are a slew of gadgets that have been bought for the Games including baggage and car scanners, pass readers, integrated CCTV cameras and others.An integrated communication room has been set up at the Police Headquarters here, which gives round-the-clock access to all venues through the CCTV network.Security has also been beefed up in tourist hot spots also. From airport to the Metro link and malls, security has been tightened to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.Bunkers have been set up at many spots in the national capital. Besides the paramilitary forces, who are assisting the Delhi Police, personnel of other state police has also been roped in including those from Maharashtra and Haryana.”Such large security arrangements have never been put in place for any sports event. Months of planning and meetings have preceded the security cover that you see,” a senior police official said.The Home Ministry in a statement said, “Adequate security arrangements have been put in place in order to provide security to the sportspersons, officials, spectators, invitees, volunteers and workforce as well as to the entire city of Delhi.”CWG: Guidelines issued for spectatorsThe Home Ministry on Saturday said that adequate security arrangements has been put in place for the Commonwealth Games and issued a set of guidelines for spectators just hours ahead of the Opening Ceremony.”Adequate security arrangements have been put in place in order to provide security to the sportspersons, officials, spectators, invitees, volunteers and workforce as well as to the entire city of Delhi,” the Ministry said in a statement.It said that along with the tickets, the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games has circulated Do’s and Don’ts for ticket-holders.”While reiterating those Do’s and Don’ts, all those who will visit the Games venues should also observe the Guidelines,” it said.It asked the spectators to plan in advance taking into account the possible traffic in order to reach the venue on time. The guidelines said one should be prepared to stand in queue.”You should carry your ticket or accreditation card (together with the ticket) without fail. No one will be admitted without a ticket or an accreditation card (together with the ticket).”Flap Barriers and RF readers have been installed to ‘read’ the ticket and the accreditation card. If the reading shows the ticket or accreditation card as ‘invalid’, a second attempt will be made, and if the second attempt too shows the ticket or the accreditation card as ‘invalid’, the person will not be admitted,” the statement said.advertisementEvery person will be frisked and checked. The guidelines said it is possible that the flap barrier or the RF reader may fail sometimes, for a few minutes, owing to technological glitches.In such a case, the security personnel will do a thorough manual check of the person, the ticket and the accreditation card and one must be prepared to subject themselves to the manual check. In addition, every person will be frisked and checked.With regard to parking, the guidelines said only a few vehicles or cars with authorised ‘vehicle access passes’ will be allowed to go up to the designated points in the games venues.”If you are travelling by a car with an authorised ‘vehicle access pass’, you will be required to alight at a designated point. You must walk the remaining distance to the entry gates.”It said visitors who travel by vehicles which do not have a ‘vehicle access pass’ may use the Park and Ride or the Park and Walk schemes.The Ministry also requested asked citizens to use public transport as far as possible.”The Do’s and Dont’s and these ‘Guidelines’ will apply to every visitor and there will be no relaxation and no exception will be made in any case. All are requested to cooperate,” it said.- With inputs from PTIlast_img

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