Delhi Police to buy radiation meters

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Apr 16, 2010 11:00 hrs

After having been caught unprepared during the radio-active Cobalt 60 exposure in the capital that affected seven people, the Delhi Police is now procuring sophisticated devices to monitor radiation.

'We are procuring four radiation meters that can detect radioactive material. A tender has been issued in this regard,' Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said Friday.

The tender was issued to manufacturers and authorised distributors in both public and private sector.

Foreign companies can participate through their India-based agents.

'The equipment is to be purchased within 60 days from the date of contract,' according to the tender.

The first radioactive exposure took place in Mayapuri in West Delhi April 8 and five people suffered burn-like injuries after coming in contact with the radioactive material in the scrap market.

Scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, rushed to the capital the same day to probe the incident. Experts suspected that the radioactive substance was Cobalt-60.

Scrap metal dealer Deepak Jain, the first victim of the radiation exposure whose body turned black after he touched the radioactive source, had a considerably suppressed bone marrow and is hospitalised in Indraprastha Apollo hospital.

Five other victims -- Gaurav, Rajendra Prasad, Ramjee Yadav, Ram Kalap and Himanshu Jain -- were admitted to AIIMS.

Around half a kilometre of the area was sealed by the police as a precautionary measure, and later the substance was isolated and the area cordoned off.

Nearly a week after the first source of radiation, another Cobalt 60 source was found in the same scrap market April 13. The source which was 400 metres from the initial radiation exposure was located and isolated.

A seventh victim, Babulal, exposed to radiation, was hospitalised in AIIMS.

According to the latest report by AIIMS, out of the six patients, five were stable and their blood counts were normal. They were showing signs of improvement.

But one patient continues to have low blood cell counts. He developed mild fever and is being monitored closely by a team of doctors.