Kathmandu, In a recently published report, US Department of State hinted that Nepal can become a playground for terrorists due to open and porous border with India and weak security arrangements in the only international airport at Kathmandu.
India also has been constantly warning about Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport security.
Nepal has extra pressure to strengthen its security, given the rise in terrorist attacks in South Asia in recent time.
Security Expert Dr. Deepak Prakash Bhatta also says that security system should be upgraded as terrorist activities can take place in the country anytime.
Employees in illegal activities
Along with security threat, illegal activities of responsible people have put airport security in risk. Senior Superintendent of Police Raviraj Shrestha was found involved in trafficking foreign currencies and sacked from his job in 2002.
Similarly, Bharat Sanjel who worked as a cleaner in the airport was arrested with US$8,000. Airport administration kept this incident under wraps.
In yet another incident in 2016, Nepal Airlines Engineer Ranjit Lal Bista was arrested for smuggling US$4,450.
Similar incidents have occurred in the past as well.
Incidents of travellers’ luggage being misplaced and lost are normal. Every day travellers come up with these complaints. Security analysts have assessed that illegal activities by responsible people are genuine security threats.
More than 6,000 pass holders
According to Civil Aviation Authority, around 6,000 passes have been distributed to different airlines companies, security agencies, employees of the Authority, hotel staff, bank staff, cleaners and others.
Many others have taken one-day pass as well.
They have been given those passes on the basis of proximity with influential people. Experts have indicated that these pass holders should be closely monitored.
The police had recommended to give away passes judiciously as randomly distributed passes can increase security threats and illegal activities.
But no one has been serious about it. Tribhuvan International Airport, General manager Rajkumar Chhetri claimed that his office is upgrading airport management in the backdrop of security threats.
Experts have said that curbing pass holders’ illegal activities is a big challenge along with smuggling and trafficking.