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Western Railway terminates contract of firm providing sniffer dogs

WR had hired the dogs at Rs 15,000 per dog per month for suburban and Rs 20,000 per dog per month for non-suburban areas.

Written by Kalpana Verma | Mumbai |
September 19, 2015 12:22:57 am

Eight YEARS and Rs 18 lakh later, the Western Railway (WR) has terminated the contract of a firm that provided sniffer dogs after numerous complaints by RPF that the dogs were not trained to sniff explosives and their handlers were untrained.

Though WR had its own sniffer dogs, the need for augmenting its small dog squad was felt after the terror attacks of 7/11. The tender, which was floated in July 2007, was awarded to Dogs Kennel of India on the last week of September 2007, after which 12 dogs were employed.

WR had hired the dogs at Rs 15,000 per dog per month for suburban and Rs 20,000 per dog per month for non-suburban areas. Out of the 12 dogs, 6 were deputed in suburban areas and 6 in non-suburban sections like Surat, Nanded and Valsad.


“For a dog, there should be one exclusive handler and a master, but this company was not providing so. Even the handlers are not trained,” said a senior WR officer, adding that the dogs had not been trained for sniffing explosives such as RDX.

“The handlers were providing the dogs with inferior-quality food. The canines should not be given mutton or egg in the summer, and yet they were being fed these for dinner,’’ the officer added.

The firm did not even maintain proper hygiene and their shelter at Andheri station was congested, where the canines would invariably get injured fighting among themselves.

After a long and bitter experience with private firms providing canines, WR has now decided to be self-sufficient in matters concerning dog squads. It has recently purchased six Labrador pups from Bogadi Kennels at Secunderabad.

Soon, the dogs will be sent to Dayabasti RPF training centre in Delhi for a rigorous 32-week training for sniffing explosives and on discipline.

After this, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Mumbai divisions will receive two sniffer dogs each. The Mumbai divison of WR owns six dogs and after the training, the strength will be eight.

“There will be an off-white pup named Berk and a white one named Ooxan. Both are male and according to doctors’ advice, they will be provided with egg, milk, dalia with rice and calcium in the morning, and meat at night,’’ informed an RPF staff about the two new recruits of the Mumbai division’s dog squad.

Interestingly, the Central Railway (CR) does not hire dogs for the dog squad in Mumbai division. The CR Mumbai division consists of 37 canines, that are housed at four kennels at Carnac Bunder near CST, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Matunga and Kalyan.

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