Bomb disposal squad travels in taxis?

April 26, 2010

KARACHI: The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) team has to hire taxis or travel on motorcycles when they receive any information regarding a bomb because they have not been provided transportation, said sources unwilling to be named for fear of losing their job.

Around 50 BDS officials working under the police’s Special Branch are supposed to be provided a total of ten vehicles, of which only one vehicle is in working order and the others need to be fixed, sources said. There have been some efforts to provide the squad better equipment. The police department had purchased eight explosives detectors from a foreign company in 2009, but they became dysfunctional within six months. A Canadian delegation was called to Karachi on March 18 to review the situation.

The delegation had suggested a number of changes, including a storage facility for bomb disposal instruments with temperature control to keep the equipment safe. It was suggested that the squad be supervised by a retired army officer. This suggestion has yet to be implemented, sources said. A new BDS office was to be set up near the DIG South’s quarters. The building, however, has been under construction for a year and the squad has been working without an office, sources said.