MUMBAI & TERROR: How prepared are we?

by tybmmjourno


Despite the several attacks on Mumbai in the past one decade, there are people who still haven’t realised the importance of security.

The Mumbai police recently carried out a test activity at the Chembur plant of Rashtriya Chemichals and Fertilizers(RCF) limited and the Tata power unit. The results were disappointing. It was an operation conducted to gauge the preparedness of the plants for a terror attack.

Two months ago the police informed both the units of an imminent sabotage or terror attempt.  This was done since RCF is a huge plant that produces hazardous chemicals and gases. If any intentional damage is done to the installation, then the gases released in air would cause mass destruction. Tata power which supplies electricity to Mumbai, can cause power cut if damaged.

The police successfully sent two decoys to the installations and there was absolutely no hurdle met by the two. They planted the dummy explosives successfully. Once they were in, the police informed the security system at the plants about the decoys.

The Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers plant is built inside the 800 acre campus in Chembur and the Indian railways run trains over there that carry the chemicals from the plant and distribute them. As was found, the installation never checked the contents of the bogies.  This is the callous attitude of the companies towards their own plants and more importantly their people.  Both the companies aggressively denied any occurrence of such an operation.  Tata power went on to say that they were absolutely prepared for such situation and were now planning to hold meeting with the police on upgrading their security measures.

It  is saddening to see this attitude of mumbaikars towards their fellow mumbaikars even after the train blasts, opera house blasts and the 26/11 carnage. The installations were informed two months in advance about the potential sabotage attempts but no measures were taken.

The attitude of the police and the government itself has been pathetic towards Mumbai. The intelligence department somehow is always in the dark about these incidents. It succeeds in nabbing the terrorist most of the times. The emphasis is placed on “catching the culprit” rather than “preventing the event”. Even today when I travel on local trains I do not see CCTV cameras anywhere on the station. There is no mandatory rule enforced on people to walk through detectors. One of the train blasts happened because a pressure cooker containing explosives was placed in the train. The person just put it and left. Had that pressure cooker been detected there would have been no blasts, those innocent people would have continued with their lives and the culprit would have been caught red handed. The arrest would have led to bust of further links to terror outfits. A major achievement.


But this is not how the government thinks, it keeps on waiting and waiting for the next blast, to give masala and television rating points to the 24/7 news channels. This phenomenon will change, when the attitude will change.