A mobile explosives detection van, which cost the city police around Rs7 crore in 2008, has been lying unused for several years at the compound of the office of the Commissioner of Police at Crawford Market.
The police department is not sure what to do with the van as it does not have a maintenance contract. Senior officers have now asked the protection and security (P&S) branch to find out if it can be turned into a mobile command centre so that it fulfils some purpose.
A senior IPS officer, who did not wish to be named, told HT that the van was hardly used ever since it was procured by the police after the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008 as it can detect explosives within a 10-metre radius.
Police sources said the van was bought as more such incidents were anticipated following the multiple attacks by 10 Pakistani terrorists that killed over 160 and left more 300 injured. After its first annual maintenance contract ended around 2010, the van that was then with the bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) developed a technical snag.
Two years later, when some top officials dug up old records, it came to light that the van did not have a maintenance contract, repairing it would cost over Rs75 lakh and an additional Rs70 lakh will have to be spent for its annual maintenance, police sources said.
Top officials of the city and state police, meanwhile, are opposed to spending such a large sum on the van.
Police sources also said that the van was rejected by the Hyderabad police around 2008, but was bought by the state police for its Mumbai unit.