The first Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) for Mumbai suburban railways is expected to be ready by December this year, with the Central Railway (CR) being allocated funds to implement its Integrated Security System (ISS) at six railway stations in Mumbai division.
The Railway Board has allocated over Rs 7 crore to the Mumbai division to carry out work of ISS at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Dadar, Kurla, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Thane and Kalyan stations. To set up a bomb squad, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) will be required to purchase equipment such as bomb suits, explosive detectors and disposers for its trained personnel.
Presently, during bomb threat calls for suburban railways, the RPF has to depend on the city police’s bomb squad to check for suspicious objects and secure railway stations. “The bomb squad for suburban railways will be a supplement to the city bomb squad. The squad is estimated to be in place in the next six months,” said a senior railway officer.
To be set up at CST, the BDDS has been a long-pending requirement under the ISS that was initiated at major railway stations after the station was targeted during the November 26, 2008 terrorist attack. While officers of Western Railway and CR were sent for training, the squad was not set up.
In addition to the BDDS squad, the under vehicle search system (UVSS) is also expected to be put in place at LLT and CST to scan vehicles for suspicious objects. Work on installation of UVSS at the two stations, which was stalled due to paucity of funds, is expected to begin soon, said railway officials.
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While over 200 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at CST under ISS, another 500 cameras are to be installed at the five stations. “With funds available, we will soon begin work of installing CCTVs at Thane railway station,” a senior railway officer said.
Western Railway (WR) has received Rs 58 lakh for the implementation of ISS at 32 stations. “We will be covering more stations under the ISS and also provide more and improved CCTV cameras at stations where the ISS already exists,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR.