To meet the increased requirement of pedigree dogs for detecting explosives and drugs on its premises, Railways will soon set up a dog breeding and training centre. Railways’ dog squad at present has only 332 canines as against the sanctioned strength of 459.
Pedigree dogs are used by Railways for detecting explosives and drugs on its premises. Though Railways has two dog training centres at Daya Basti in Delhi and Podanur in Tamil Nadu, it only has a capacity to train 23 dogs.
A senior railway protection force official said the requirement of trained dogs in Railways is much more than the sanctioned strength.
“Railways needs around 2,600 trained dogs including sniffers and trackers to meet the requirements,” he said. The official said that Railways is in the process of earmarking a suitable area on the railway land for developing the state-of-the-art centre to strengthen its dog squad. Sniffer dogs are required to detect explosives and drugs while trackers are pressed into service at the crime scene to detect culprits.
Presently, Railways manages its dog squad by buying pups of Doberman, German Shepherd, Labrador, Golden Retriever from private breeders. Buying these dogs is a costly affair for Railways which is reeling under crores of loss. Dogs from private breeders come in the range of Rs 20,000-40,000. Doberman and German Shepherd are best suited for tracker squad while Labrador and Golden Retriever are most apt in sniffer section.