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Security/medical checks at International Airport —– a farce

November 28, 2009

So much is said and written about the super efficient custom department of all countries including India

In USA the custom department is so particular that they make the passengers take out their shoes, jackets and belt before the security checkup. I was even asked to remove my bangles and hair clip for security checking . No liquid, no water is allowed to be carried inside at the time of security clearance. I  was even asked to throw my empty water bottle.

Although Indian security at International Airport do claim that they are at par with other advanced countries but inspite of all their claims about being strict, Indian custom department are rather relaxed; there is no compulsion to take out shoes or remove other metallic objects on self. I was surprised to notice that some of the officials sitting on the computer screen were busy chatting with others while the baggage was on the checkup belt.

Tthis sort of carelessness is nothing new with our officials but I was not prepared for such negligence from the Officers of USA and Germany but I personally expereinced this carelessness in both the countries.

I was not aware that I had a bottle of mineral water along with my jacket and sweater  in the carry bag which was in my hand ( I realised it only after reaching back home).But surprisngly I was not stopped even once, neither at Boston, nor at Munich not even at Indian airport whereas at each port I was made to undergo security examination.

If everyone is so strict and thorough with their security measures (I was even asked to take out my nail polish ), then how could that bottle of water was ignored by them, how come it was not visible in their computer screens? How did it miss their scrutiny?

Then comes another incidence at Mumbai Airport (which is like icing on the cake)of the reckless way our so called diligent officers at the airport work.

After alighting from the flight we were made to stand in a long queue for more than an hour, reason being ‘SWINE FLU EXAMINATION’

Hoardings on bold letters were there all over requesting everyone to cooperate with the medical officers who will take the body temperature of every one coming from outside India. They even had a long list of countries that have been declared sensitive to swine flu cases.

Passengers from 4 flights (who had landed simultaneously) were made to sweat out for more than an hour for the medical examination. There was so much rush. People were standing neck to neck with close contact. I am sure even if someone didn’t have the symptoms of swine flu this continuous contact with so many people was a sure way to contract the symptoms of the dreaded disease.

I was so scared what if I test positive? Will I be asked to stay back and go into isolation in some Municipal hospital?I prayed and prayed that I should clear the medical tests

(it was just like waiting for the examination results when I used to pray to come out with flying colours)

Finally after a long wait I reached the end of the queue where some officers were sitting behind tables. There was no sign of any test going. Only thing they were busy doing was stamping the forms which each passenger had in their hands. I was just asked from where I was coming and then the officer with big insolence and pompousness stamped the form and asked me to go. I lady just ahead of me was coughing continously and she had a running nose. But even she was not asked for any medical examination. She was asked if she had any symptoms of the Swine Flu, and she refused ( what about the running nose , sneezing and coughing which were so very prominent) ANd the officers just stamped her form and let her go. 

I just stood dumbfounded with an open mouth. Where was the so called medical examination for which we all had waited for hours together, for which I had prayed?

I came out wondering how many actual cases of Swine flu must have crossed the fences without even a cursory test.

If there was no tests to be conducted then why were we made to undergo that torture of wait.

What impressions the foreigners coming from all over the world must be carrying about our security system?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2009 12:52 pm

    The water bottle going past the security unchecked must have been a freak case,though surprising.
    There must have been a reason as the security at the European and U.S. airports is very tight.It beats me as to how could this happen?
    As for Health check at Delhi airport is concerned,it is nothing but a big joke .
    During my recent visit to KL and Singapore,I realised how strict and concerned were the officers about HINI.

    • November 30, 2009 4:30 am

      even i am surprised about the water bottle. but it did happen 😉

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