Steps taken to check smuggling by Thar ExpressMarch 13th, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The government Thursday said it had taken steps to prevent smuggling of goods by the Thar Express, the oldest cross-country train service between India and Pakistan. “We have put up a proper fence gate at zero line and on both sides of the railway station fences have been erected to avoid throwing of articles from the train by smugglers,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Radhika V. Selvi told the Lok Sabha in a written reply Thursday.
Six kilometres apart on the train’s route between Jodhpur and Karachi, Munabao and Khokrapar are the first railway stations of India and Pakistan from the border, respectively.
The minister said not many incidents of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes into India had been reported although a Delhi police special cell June 25, 2007 had claimed arresting three people with counterfeit currency worth Rs.3.5 million. According to the police, the arrested people were passengers of the Thar Express.
In the same period, the Revenue Intelligence Directorate sleuths in Jodhpur had seized fake currency worth Rs.1.95 million from two passengers, including a woman, coming from Pakistan aboard the Thar Express.
“Six manned observation towers between zero line and Munabao railway station have been set up to keep surveillance in the area,” Selvi added.
Besides, the train is escorted by foot/vehicle patrolling on both sides of the track and proper floodlight has been put in place to ensure no illegal activity takes place on the stretch.
“A thorough search of the railway track is being carried out every time a train passes to check smuggling,” to the minister said.