Mock drill at Pune University a poor show

In the afternoon at around 3.30 pm yesterday University of Pune was suddenly alerted with sirens from police vans, Quick Response Teams (QRT), Bomb Detection and Disposal Team (BDDS) and fire brigade vehicles heading for the campus of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).

In the line of fire: Members of the various security agencies that took part in the mock drill were seen casually chatting with each other. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

Officials maintained their seriousness only till the mock drill started. Traffic constables blocked the road going to IUCAA after announcing that a mock drill was going on. At the spot, however, police constables were casually interacting and some even took rest.

The whole episode continued for one and half hour. The QRT soldiers, who are expected to play a vital role in such emergency situations, were very casual and their seniors had to scold them for negligence in duty.

On the other hand, police and departments of the UoP did not participate in the mock drill. UoP security guards will have to be the first to spring into action if a real-life emergency situation ever arises on the campus.

“I got the information about the mock drill in the afternoon. But as IUCAA is an autonomous institute and does not come under UoP we had no part in the mock drill,” said M S Kedari, security officer of UoP.

When contacted UoP registrar Dr Narendra Kadu said, “Some 20 minutes before the drill I got a call from the police inspector Ajay Kadam of Chatushrungi Police station intimating us about the mock drill.” Narendra Kadu added, “ He asked me to convey the message of the drill to other departments of UoP so that there is no panic among the staff and students.”

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