NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) seems to be cutting corners at the cost of security. The green ministry, which houses files related to clearance of multi-crore infrastructure projects, has decided to hire a private security agency to safeguard its offices to save money. Security personnel are required for round-the-clock duty in three shifts. They have access to and are responsible for locking and unlocking the rooms inside the ministry.
While CISF personnel will continue to look after Environment minister Prakash Javadekar’s office and the main entry gate, private guards will be deployed at other key offices.
The ministry issued a tender on November 12 seeking the services of an agency that would provide trained and disciplined civilian guards for a period of one year. “The guards would be responsible for safeguarding buildings of MoEFCC, its moveable and immovable assets, equipment and other items from any theft, pilferage, damage and ensure safety of employees and visitors,” the tender document stated. A ministry source said the ministry would hold the agency responsible in case of any theft or damage at their premises.
“We are looking for a specialized trained agency to provide security. One of the main reasons is money as the CISF cover for the entire building is expensive. CISF cover as of now is limited to the fourth floor where the minister sits, the four entrance and exit gates and the main gate of the ministry,” said the source.
The source added that this decision was taken by minister Prakash Javadekar to enhance security at the ministry’s offices, while bringing down costs.
The ministry had shifted its office to Indira Paryavaran Bhawan in Jor Bagh last year, but for many months there were no CISF personnel to guard the premises. However, following the controversy involving leaking of documents from Central government ministries—in which the personal assistant of a joint secretary in MoEFCC was also arrested—CISF was deployed at the ministry office.
The source explained that the ministry believes a private security agency will not just be cheaper compared to CISF, but they would also not have to provide facilities like lodging which are extended to CISF. The private agency will also be deployed at the ministry’s other offices in the CGO complex.
The ministry has sought guards below 55 years of age, who would be specially designated for the ministry, and would not be changed frequently. It has sought guards who can read and write to ensure no unauthorized person goes inside without permission and proper records are maintained.