Central Railway plan to develop independent Railway Bomb Detection & Disposal Team

Mumbai:  Top official says a full-fledged bomb squad will be formed in the next few months to protect passengers and railway property.

Four years after the Central Railway’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) floated a proposal to have an independent bomb detection and disposal squad on its Mumbai division, the file is yet to come up for approval.

The city has seen a series of terror attacks  – serial blasts in seven locals in July 2006, killing 188 commuters and terror attack on November 26, 2008, in which 166 people lost their lives.

The railway authorities had promised to form a bomb and disposal squad (BDDS) in 2009 after 26/11.

The plan is yet to see the light of the day, putting into danger the lives of more than 35 lakh commuters.

Sources said that the government had asked the RPF which is in charge of railway security, to form a separate BDDS. Its assurance, though, appears more to be mere lip-service.

The Central Railway has modern BDDS equipment but no trained personnel to form a bomb detection and disposal squad. The RPF, therefore, has to depend on the BDDS of the Mumbai police for every bomb threat call.

Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF, Central Railway, said: “We will start training our men to handle BDDS equipment soon. In the next few months, we will have a separate, full-fledged BDDS team to protect commuters and railway property.”

The railways plan to soon acquire multi-crore hi-tech security equipment, including night-vision cameras, internet based security surveillance, vapour detectors and bomb baskets to protect commuters and vital installations, he said.

Blasts from the past

  • November 26, 2008: Pakistani terrorists attack CST killed 57 persons
  • July 11, 2006: Serial blasts in seven local trains on Western Railways, 188 dead
  • March 14, 2003: 10 commuters killed in a Karjat-bound local at Mulund station
  • January 28, 2003: Blast outside Vile Parle railway station; one dead and 20 injured