The state government is set to conduct a mock drill on terror attacks this month where the agencies for the first time will be told that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are being used.
The mock drill will involve the state government, civic body, police, hospitals, foreign embassies, airports and other agencies, with the BMC commissioner leading the drill.
There will be a scripted scenario simulated in a particular area of the city. Even chemical and biological warfare will be simulated during the exercise.
Agencies will be expected to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are protocols, drawn up by the government, to be followed during disasters. These dictate roles of different authorities, departmental responsibilities and communication methods in case of an attack or other disasters.
“We have devised a whole set of SOPs that define several protocols on biological, chemical, nuclear, radioactive warfare. These rules can be fine-tuned only after we actually conduct mock drills and exercises, where we find out how these SOPs work and what the loopholes are,” said chief secretary JK Banthia, after a review meeting on SOPs recently.
Elaborating on the mock drill, an official said that the exercise scenario is yet to be chalked out. Before the exercise, there will be a tabletop exercise where agency heads will sit together discuss how to tackle different scenarios and, in this case, even decide on evacuation procedures. “Once the scenario is defined, we will put together a concept note which will be sent to all the agencies involved in the exercise. Heads of departments will be given different charges. The civic chief will lead the drill as the attack is planned in Mumbai and the civic body is the central agency,” the official said.