Saturday, July 26, 2014

Railway clerk who allotted berths to puppies faces music

MUMBAI: Central Railway (CR) initiated disciplinary action on Friday against the booking clerk who had allotted berth to four Labrador puppies, which were accompanied by Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials from Miraj Junction to CST last week.

However, a senior RPF official has said the booking of seats for canines was not illegal.

"Disciplinary action has been initiated against the clerk," CR's chief PRO Narendra Patil said.

On July 19, clerk Bhola Das had allotted berths from the Dadar booking office to four puppies and its five RPF handlers in 2-tier A1 coach of Sahyadri Express, which was scheduled to depart from Miraj Junction on July 23.

CR's commercial department feels transporting animals, including the RPF sniffer dogs, in passenger coach is not permitted.

Guidelines stipulate that canines can travel in a dog box kept in the train guard's cabin or in a coupe of the first class AC coach, if there are no objections from fellow passengers. "We have booked berths for canines in the past. In this case, the puppies and their RPF handlers were not allowed to board the A1 coach after objections from the train ticket examiner. The dogs and their handlers then travelled in the sleeper class," an RPF official said.

The RPF too ordered an inquiry to ascertain if there was any violation of rules. "Rules state that RPF dogs with handlers may be issued first class passes when sent for participation in railway week celebration and champion dog shows," an RPF official said.


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