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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

CISF’s Metro helpline reports heavy spike in queries related to alcohol

Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 10, 2013
First Published: 23:41 IST(10/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:47 IST(10/3/2013)

Is it okay if I take along my pet in the Metro? Will you allow a sealed liquor bottle in my bag? Can I take the Metro after getting drunk?

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These are some of the questions callers asked ever since the CISF helpline was launched last May.

Officials say that after alcohol was included in a list of items prohibited on the Metro at the beginning of this year, the number of calls has doubled and the majority of them are about carrying liquor bottles.

Around 350 calls a month were made to the helpline till December. The questions were largely related to stations and routes. But since January, the number of calls has spiked to about 700 a month, and most of them are about carrying liquor bottles or the presence of men in women’s coaches.

“A majority of the callers ask about carrying liquor or if it is okay to get into the Metro drunk,” a CISF officer, who wished not to be named, said. “We have begun issuing challans to drunk passengers,” the officer added.  Other sources said that around 30% of the calls were related to prohibited items.

“We would normally receive calls related to three issues: Unattended bags, the presence of men in women’s coaches and complaints of long queues at Metro stations. But we began receiving calls about prohibited items after a circular was issued by the Delhi Metro on January 4,” another CISF officer said.

Last month, 186 calls made to the helpline were about prohibited items, 168 about unattended bags and 72 were to complain about men travelling on women’s coaches.

“We appreciate that people remain aware and report unattended bags. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to convince a passenger that he cannot carry a liquor bottle, even if it is sealed,” the officer said.

Liquor was earlier allowed on the Delhi metro. But after the December 16 gang rape, Metro authorities banned inflammable liquids, all kind of sprits, alcohol and wet batteries.


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