The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to purchase a Hazmat vehicle for Rs 8.5 crore.
As the name suggests, the vehicle will be used by the fire brigade to deal with hazardous materials (Hazmat).
With several cases of chemical and oil spillage reported in the city, officials say that the vehicle is an essential procurement for the fire brigade.
A Hazmat vehicle is a truck fitted with specialised equipment to tackle emergencies related to hazardous chemicals.
The vehicle will be fitted with compartments to neutralise the effect of any chemical leaks.
Apart from special suits for firemen, it will also have spill-control and leak-control mechanisms. The vehicle can accommodate seven firemen at once, officials said.
The fire brigade had mooted the idea of acquiring Hazmat vehicles in 2010 following a chlorine leak from Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) consignment section, which left over 100 people ill.
A senior fire official said, “The city has many chemical and petroleum factories. As the first responders to any disaster, we have found it difficult to combat such incidents. The vehicle will also have a de-contamination chamber.” The official also said the Delhi fire brigade already owns a Hazmat vehicle.
Officials said the BMC will be floating an international tender to invite bids for the specialised equipment. Fire officials will also receive specialised training for handling the vehicle.
“The vehicle will most likely be from Europe,” the official added.
The city has many industrial, manufacturing and warehouse units. Industries also store hazardous material.
In June 2015, a major fire was reported owing to oil leakage in the MbPT area of Wadala. With the smoke billowing from the area, the brigade rushed eight fire engines to douse the fire.