Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami flagged off 9 modified Royal Enfield motorcycles that have been acquired by the state to fight COVID-19. The government has given 25 new bikes to Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) that have additional equipment to spray disinfectant. The state government shared the information through an official press release.
The new Royal Enfield motorcycles will join the existing 35 motorcycles that are with the state TNFRS already. The bikes have tanks to store disinfectant and a sprayer that can be used to sanitise the roads on the go. The bikes will be used by TNRFS. The exact models of the Royal Enfield bikes are not known, however, it seems that the cost of the equipment is more than the price of the bike. Doing calculations for 25 bikes, every single bike costs around Rs 5.5 lakhs. It also remains unknown if the bikes will be able to be used as regular fire fighting solution after the need for disinfectant goes down.
CM Palaniswami flagged off the bikes a few days ago and they are expected to be on duty soon. According to the official data, Tamil Nadu is currently on the second spot in the number of COVID-19 cases and new cases are being added every single day.
The press release by Tamil Nadu government did not give out details on the bike and the exact equipment but they might be similar to the TNRFS Royal Enfields. These bikes were first acquired to reach the fire hazards as quickly as possible since bikes are quicker on the Indian roads than trucks. Also, these bikes are much smaller and an go through small passages and spaces where a big truck will usually get stuck.
The motorcycles came equipped with number of equipment. To start with, there are 9-litre tanks that store water mixed with compressed air foam solutions. Also, there is a public announcement system to address the locals and give directions to them. Moreover, there are police strobes lights and sirens to make people notice and allow them to go through on priority. These bikes also get communication systems to talk to their peers.
Many state governments have bough the Royal Enfield-based fire engines. In most cases, these bike fire engines are the first respondents and they try to contain the fire until the fire engines arrive. This ensures that the fire does not spread much.