Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Govt plans to augment dog squads for Railways, airports

Updated on Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 18:39 IST Tags:Govt plan, augment dog squads, Railways, airports

New Delhi: In its effort to ensure passenger security and prevent narcotic trafficking, the government plans to increase the number of sniffer dogs at major railway stations and airports across the country.

The dogs - Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel - will be pressed into service to sniff out explosives and narcotics drugs.

As per the recommendation of the MHA appointed Committee on augmentation of police dogs and related issues, two dogs will be roped in for about eight passenger trains per station.

It also plans to have two sniffer dogs to check baggage of 12 flights. MHA sources said the strength of dogs at airports would be based on the number of flights originating from there.

The proposal has been made taking into account the present strength of sniffer dogs and the future security needs, sources said.

As per the plan, the Indira Gandhi International Airport here will have 58 dogs while Mumbai and Kolkata airports will have 56 and 24 canines each. The Committee recommended 30 additional dogs for Chennai airport, they said.

For Railways, the government plans to cover metropolis and state capitals in the first phase, which is expected to be completed by early next year and later extend it to other major stations by the end of 2010 once the Committee's recommendations are accepted.

The government will also stress on multiplying the breeding and training capacity of dog academies across the country by building necessary infrastructures and providing required resources and facilities.

The Centre is also planning to increase the number of dog training centres in Naxal-affected states to provide advanced training to canines in tackling Maoists, they said.

As per the proposal, a total of 12 dogs -- five for patrolling and guarding, four explosive sniffers and three trackers -- will be doing the duty in the left-wing extremists affected areas, the sources added.

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