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Bomb Disposal Squad to get special vehicle,robot for enhanced safety

With the Mumbai Police going in for acquisition of more equipment,vehicles and weaponry post the 26/11 terror attacks...

Written by Aditya Paul | Mumbai |
May 10, 2009 10:15:07 pm

With the Mumbai Police going in for acquisition of more equipment,vehicles and weaponry post the 26/11 terror attacks,the first unit to benefit from this is the police force’s Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS). The unit is due to receive a brand new Total Containment Vehicle (TCV) and a special bomb disposal robot shortly,police sources told Newsline.

The BDDS has already received a highly sophisticated Mercedes Mobile Detection Van that can scan vehicles within a radius of 100 metre for explosives. 

“The processes for these acquisitions are over and it is just the actual procurement that’s remaining. The TCV should be here in about 10 days,and we should get the robot in one to one-and-a-half-month,” said a BDDS official,who did not wish to be named.

Elaborating on the equipment,he said,“A TCV is basically used when a bomb is found in a crowded location or a heritage structure. It is used to move the bomb to a safer location for defusing it. For example,if a bomb is found at CST station,then we can move it to Girgaum Chowpatty and defuse it. If during the transit,the bomb does explode,the explosion will be contained within the vehicle,” said the official.

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The acquisition of the new TCV is aimed at decreasing the risk of any civilian casualties or structural damage to buildings. 

Talking about the new robot that is being procured,the official said,“The model of the robot is RMI 9WT made by a Canadian company called PEDESCO. This robot is highly versatile and can move effectively in a 100-metre radius by remote control and 200 metre with a cable attached to it. It has the strength to pull a car and carry loads of up to 70 kgs. When our staff will be trained in using the robot,it will enhance our capability greatly and will decrease the risk to our personnel in the field. It is equipped with an ample amount of cameras,including infrared ones.”   

The RMI 9WT robots are used by police departments in the US effectively and have recently proved their effectiveness in taking down dangerous methamphetamine labs,which are often booby trapped by their owners.

In 1990,a robot meant for bomb defusion had been acquired by the Mumbai Police at a cost of Rs 1.2 crore. However,due to technical snags,the robot lay gathering dust for several years until it was fixed and taken to Nashik for use by the Nashik BDDS in May 2007.

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