The Chennai police are gearing up to tackle biological and chemical sabotage in the city.
With technical support from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the city police have installed Mobile Radiation Detection System (MRDS) devices in its patrol vehicles.
The device, which has been fitted in 60 patrol vehicles initially, will help the police detect any type of sabotage attempts using chemical, radioactive or biological materials.
“Once the machine detects any threat, an alarm with red light will glow and a message will be directly sent to a control centre to be set up with the help of BARC. Their teams will then sanitise the locality,” said a police officer.
The machines were fitted early this month on a trial basis in 60 out of 350 patrol vehicles. “We chose the patrol vehicles as they keep going around the city and they will be the first point of contact.
The machines have been installed across the country in police vehicles to thwart terrorist attacks,” said the officer.
There are plans to station a team from BARC in Chennai so that they can respond faster.
“Unlike other terrorist attacks, sabotage using radioactive or biological materials cannot be seen or heard and can cause greater damage. Hence such machines are essential. It can also detect unauthorised storage of such materials in the city,” the police officer added.
The policemen in the patrol vehicles have been trained to handle the equipment. “There have been no specific intelligence warning about such an attack, but it is always better to be prepared,” said the officer.