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₹7 crore bomb detector van to be scrapped as scanners fail to function

This is one of the cases of money spent on equipment purchase by the police after the 26/11 terror attack going down the drain. The ₹7 crore Mercedes explosives detection van, purchased from the US, has been rendered nearly useless.

₹7 crore bomb detector van to be scrapped as scanners fail to function
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A mobile X-ray-cum-scanner bought in 2009, for ₹7 crore has been gathering dust for over years now. The van has been parked outside the new building of the commissioner’s office in Crawford market after it underwent servicing and other vehicular repairs in the police garage. Later, the contract for maintenance had expired in 2010 and hasn’t been renewed since then.

This is one of the cases of money spent on equipment purchase by the police after the 26/11 terror attack going down the drain. The ₹7 crore Mercedes explosives detection van, purchased from the US, has been rendered nearly useless, as the bomb-detection parts of the van, will not to be repaired. As a result, the scanners in the vehicle have failed.

The repair and maintenance of this vehicle costs ₹2.5 crore every year and there are Indian companies to do so. Therefore, the annual contract will have to be awarded to an outside company. In this context, the Mumbai Police had also sent proposals to the then state government from time to time. However, the state government did not reciprocate on this matter.

The feature of the vehicle is that it has 14 portable X-ray scanners which have been attached to 14 vehicles of Mumbai Police Bomb Disposal Squad. If a suspicious object or a bomb-like object is found in a vehicle or within 100 meters of the vehicle while it is traveling on the road, it gives an immediate warning. So they can be defused by searching such explosives or bombs.

The Ram Pradhan Committee appointed after the 26/11 attacks had submitted a report on the measures to be taken by the then state government for the security of the city as well as the state. In the report, the committee had mentioned that Mumbai Police needs to procure up-to-date equipment to modernise it on the lines of US and UK police.

However, after the formation of the Shiv Sena-BJP government in the state, the Mumbai Police had once again sent several proposals in this regard under the leadership of the then Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria. The proposal included the cost of repairing the Marksman van as well as the cost of the mobile scanner vehicle. Unfortunately, nothing further happened. As a result, the machine is currently found in the dust at the police headquarters.

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