The innocuous looking dustbins that you see at the Delhi airport are not just any plastic garbage bins - they can save you from a bomb blast.
While civic bodies in the city, like the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), are still toying with buying bombproof dustbins before the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Indira Gandhi International Airport has already got about a 100 of these.
Garbage bins were used by terrorists to plant bombs in Delhi during the serial blasts of September 13 last year that killed 26 people and injured 133 others.
Since then, the MCD has been planning to buy bins that can absorb the intensity of a bomb blast and also to install transparent bins so that at least bombs could be seen. Nothing has materialised as of yet.
“We would install 100 bombproof dustbins at the airport and the first batch has already been placed outside the domestic arrival hall,” said a senior airport official who refused to comment, as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
The bins are built of a special material that can absorb the intensity of the blast and direct its force upwards.
“This means people standing next to and around the bins wouldn’t be harmed by the bomb’s splinter effect," the official said.
“We had requested the airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) to install such bins and they have provided them,” said a spokesman of the Central Industrial Security Force, which is in charge of the airport's security.
MCD and the New Delhi Municipal Council still don't have any plans to buy such bins.
“We would be installing new garbage bins across the city before the Commonwealth Games but the plan to buy bombproof bins is yet to be approved,” said MCD spokesman Deep Mathur.
“We might use transparent bins but the proposal is yet to be finalised. There are no plans to buys bombproof bins,” the NDMC spokesman said.
Apart from the bins, DIAL has also bought a total containment vehicle, costing Rs. 3 crore. Manufactured in the US, it can withstand a blast of up to 8 kg high explosives and is useful if a bomb has to be diffused in a crowded place.