Railways stumbles upon a cool(ie) idea | india | Hindustan Times
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Railways stumbles upon a cool(ie) idea

india Updated: Jul 21, 2006 01:34 IST

THE COOLIES at the Charbagh Railway Station are in for a new job. Besides carrying passenger luggage, they are likely to double up as spies keeping round the clock tabs on passenger activities for the Railways—a job which the railways administration feels comes naturally to them.

As starters, the Railways has decided to hand pick around 50 out of the 500 coolies at the Charbagh Railway Station for the purpose. Their identities would be kept a secret. Their job will be to alert the railways administration and the security agencies — Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP))—about any suspicious activity at the stations.

“On sharing any vital information, these spies would be rewarded handsomely,” said DRM (NR) R K Gupta. The move to rope in the coolies stems from Railways’ inability to maintain stepped up vigil for 365 days. Normally security is beefed up during festivals or days of national importance like August 15, and January 26. But in the backdrop the recent terror strikes in the country, the railways has been forced to look beyond GRP and RPF. And can there be a better option than the omnipresent coolies, feels the railways administration here.

“Hum chalte phirte enquiry hain railway ke (The passengers approach us first for all kinds of information),” said Guddubhai, a coolie at Charbagh.  To begin with the senior officers of the RPF, the GRP and the Railways would hold a meeting with a group of coolies under the “Coolie Mitra Yojana” scheme and tip them about their jobs and responsibilities, said the DRM.

They are also likely to help rid the Railways of another menace, the black sheep in its staff. These coolies would henceforth be passing on information about those railway employees who indulge in unscrupulous acts.