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Mumbai’s suburban railway network to get its own bomb disposal squad

A bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) for Mumbai’s suburban railway stations would be crucial as usually when a suspicious baggage is detected, the railways would have to call the city police bomb squad, often leading to a delay.

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2019 15:35 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai suburban railway,bomb detection and disposal squad for mumbai locals,mumbai locals
According to Central Railway (CR) officials, the bomb detection and disposal squad will be posted at CSMT, would inspect stations, local and outstation trains on the CR.(PTI File )

Mumbai’s suburban railway network will get its first bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS), eleven years after the 26/11 terror attacks, which saw co-ordinated attacks on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), the iconic Taj Mahal hotel, the Trident hotel, and a Jewish centre — all in the heart of the financial capital’s downtown area — killing 166 people.

According to Central Railway (CR) officials, the BDDS team, which will be posted at CSMT, would inspect stations, local and outstation trains on the CR.

A BDDS for suburban railway stations would be crucial as usually when a suspicious baggage is detected, the railways would have to call the city police bomb squad, often leading to a delay.

A total of 15 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel who handle the railways dog squads have been trained at Matunga, while the equipment required for BDDS have been assembled at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus(LTT).

A specialised BDDS vehicle, meant for equipment and the team, will be ready within six months, said officials.

The BDDS system was to be introduced under an Integrated Security System (ISS) formed after the attacks in 2008. The ISS was introduced as a plan of upgrading technologies, ammunition and safety of important stations in the city.

“The BDDS is crucial for the city’s railway network. We will be conducting checks inside station premises,” said KK Ashraf, senior divisional security commissioner, CR.

In 2018, a suspicious bag was found near Kurla railway station, after which the area was cordoned off and the city’s BDDS team was called. However, it took time for the team to arrive.

Under ISS, 2,000 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed across important railway stations. Handheld devices, door-frame metal detectors, under vehicle surveillance scanner (UVSS) for vehicles and baggage scanners were also installed at stations under ISS.

First Published: Feb 20, 2019 15:35 IST