By: Rohit Alok
To keep up with the constant inflow of urine samples in light of Mumbai Police’s recent crackdown on drugs, especially Mephadrone, the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina has dedicated a special team to dispose of at least 60 samples every day.
According to the FSL data, the laboratory had collected 4,212 urine samples in 2014, which was nearly a 50 per cent increase in the number of samples that they got in 2013.
Locked in a storage laboratory in the extension building behind the narcotics division on the premises, officials said the urine samples were kept “in random order as they keep coming”.
“The sharp surge is primarily due to Mumbai Police’s crackdown on consumption cases. They send us the samples and we analyse them. We have a systematic procedure that we follow before we dispose them,” said FSL director M K Malve.
Officials at the facility said they needed to dispose at least 60 samples each day to prevent creating a backlog for the next day.
“We have one officer to place the labels on the samples, along with six medical officers and five assistants to examine them that get rotated on a daily basis,” said a senior officer.
Officers examine the sample by separating the drug content from the urine. For instance, morphine traces indicate consumption of heroin and cannabis traces which would mean the usage of ganja.
“We work every second Saturday to try and keep to our targets. We dispose these samples by not keeping them for more than two months. However, this new phenomena of Mephadrone is one of the primary reasons we stay on our toes,” Malve said.
Accordingly, the FSL, which earlier used to receive 15 to 20 drug-related cases in a month, received 120 cases on an average, all of them related to Mephadrone, in the last three months of the previous year.
“We received most of these urine samples during the festive season, which is usually the trend. However, after their festival bandobast is over, the police officer brings all the samples together and that causes an overload,” said an official, adding that there were 1,000 samples pending to be examined.
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