Delhi hotels beef up security for Games

By Prathiba Raju, IANS
Thursday, September 16, 2010

NEW DELHI - With the horror of 26/11 not far behind, big hotels in the capital are busy tightening security for the Commonwealth Games.

Many are spending large amounts on latest security gadgets, including the latest scanners and detectors, and several have set up crisis management teams too.

Hotels in the capital expect a huge turnout of foreigners, including sports stars and officials, during the Oct 3-14 event. Delhi Police have carried out a security survey on some big hotels in the city and given them suggestions and directions to upgrade their security infrastructure.

“We have given all the big hotels sufficient details on the security measures they should take up during the mega sporting event,” Commonwealth Games Security and Planning Joint Commissioner J.K. Sharma told IANS.

“We will augment the security infrastructure near big hotels by deploying an adequate number of personnel,” he added.

When IANS contacted various security experts, they shared some interesting facts about security measures that hotels have taken ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Asked about the security arrangements in Delhi hotels, Sandeep Goel, a security consultant for big hotels, said: “Hotels like Imperial, ITC and Oberoi Hotels and Resorts are equipped with specific facilities like crisis management groups and security equipments.”

“They are giving special importance to security as they feel terrorists could make hotels their targets during the Games,” he added.

Over 50 percent of the hotels are provisioned extra budgets for procuring the latest security gadgets for the Commonwealth Games to ensure the safety of guests, Goel said.

“Several big hotels have even started designing their hotels accordingly. The new hotel projects will heighten their security standards from the conception stage itself,” Goel said.

“Even the old ones are trying to adopt modern security equipments like scanners and detectors along with close circuit cameras installed at strategic vantage points in hotels,” he said.

Imperial Hotel spokesperson Ruchi Jain said: “We’re hoping to have all the security systems in place ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Our hotels will be as secure as the visitors would like them to be.”

“The security measures will be in place and the hotels will be as secure as the visitors would like,” he added.

The Imperial Hotel has come out with Imperial Rapid Action Force (IRAF), keeping in mind terror attacks like 26/11. Around 80 employees are trained to combat terror attacks and bomb scares.

“Although the Imperial has an emergency response team like any other hotel, it felt a need for a specialised team,” Jain said.

A front office worker of Radisson Hotel said pleading anonymity: “Security awareness training is compulsorily given to each hotel team member in Radisson. A crisis management team has been developed to handle any kind of emergency within the property.”

Meanwhile, many security experts say several star hotels across the country have been taking adequate security measures following the terrorist strike on Mumbai hotels, including Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel and Oberoi Trident Nov 26, 2008.

“Big hotels have become more cautious after 26/11. With various security arrangements, including CCTV cameras in place, it is not easy for anybody to enter these hotels,” said Amar Sukhi, managing director of Mumbai-based Security and Personnel Services which provides professional security-related services across the country.

“They have all the systems in place for frisking and screening of baggage. Even employees need to get police verification letters before they get appointed,” he added.

The modern security gadgets, he said, can help avert any untoward incident.

For example, a boom barrier - a bar or pole pivoted in a way to allow the barrier to block vehicular access through a controlled point - is installed at the entrance of hotels to help stop a fully-loaded truck; and vapour detectors can check the presence of nitrates in the atmosphere which are mostly used in explosives.

“However, miscreants can discover the loopholes in modern security gadgets too. These security systems can be tampered with by the well-networked tech-savvy terrorists,” Sukhi cautioned.

(Prathiba Raju can be contacted at

Filed under: Terrorism

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