The first Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad set up under the Railway Protection Force in Kerala exclusively for the railways has started functioning at Thiruvananthapuram Central Station.
The squad, first of its kind for the railways in the State, will function round-the-clock. The railways do not have to depend on State security agencies for carrying out anti-sabotage checks and in the wake of a bomb threat in the train or in railway installations. Till date, the railways were depending on the bomb detection and disposal squad of the Kerala Police.
The squad comprising six RPF personnel trained in handling explosives and their detection and led by an Inspector had been provided with the latest bomb detection and disposal equipments. The unit was inaugurated by the Divisional Railway Manager, Rajiv Dutt Sharma in the presence of Additional Railway Manager, Ashok Kumar and other officials on Tuesday.
Mr. Sharma said the railways had made a humble beginning by setting up the squad exclusively to take care of the needs of the railway network as part of enhancing security arrangements. The squad will get more personnel and advanced bomb detection and disposal equipments in the coming days, he added.
Located on the first floor of the adjacent building of Route Relay Interlocking Cabin housed on the western side of platform one of the central station, the civil works for the two rooms cost the railways Rs.1.5 lakh and the equipment, Rs. 20 lakh.
The squad had been provided with Bomb Suppression blanket, Hand Held Metal Detectors, Trolley Mirror, Walkie Talkie, Search Lights, Megaphone, Helmets, Telescopic Inspection Mirror, Door Frame Metal Detector. In addition, the squad has got the hand held Explosive Detector Sabre 4000 that helps to detect explosives without opening the bag and luggage of the passengers,
The RPF personnel deployed to the squad had undergone three months training to handle any emergency. A sniffer dog Linda from the RPF Dog Squad had also been deployed to the squad.
As part of commissioning the squad, a live demo of detecting and disposal of the bomb was demonstrated. Assistant Security Commissioner, RPF, said the public can pass on information regarding bomb threat/suspected objects found in trains and railway premises to RPF Help line Number 9746769723 or 0471- 2330502.