Don’t be surprised if you have company in uniform during your trip to Goa this year. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) are making rounds of all long distance trains to and from Goa, as the city counts down to the New Year festivities.
Goa is a popular destination for a lot of party animals during the year-end. Sources in the railways claim that many people get crates of beer, and bottles of alcohol ranging from whisky to vodka from Goa, which are then used on the night of December 31. This is most likely illicit liquor, which doesn’t have the necessary permissions from government agencies to be carried or transported.
The RPF of Konkan Railway, assisted by the Central Railway, started conducting these drives last week. Konkan Railway operates most of the long distance trains to Goa and the year-end is known to have several special trains between Mumbai and Goa.
On a recently conducted drive, the Konkan Railway RPF managed a good haul. “We caught people carrying liquor worth Rs 56,261 and bottles were also seized from trains. These are figures only for this month, till date,” said V Patange, chief PRO, Konkan Railway.
1,371 liquor bottles have been caught in December, while being transported in the Madgaon-Karwar Passenger and the LTT-Mangalore Matsyagandha Express. Similarly, in the earlier months of the year, railway authorities nabbed illegal bootleggers carrying hundreds of liquor bottles between the two states and have been collecting heavy fines from them.
RPF officials claim that during the month of December, many people try to get alcohol bottles from Goa to Mumbai. “The liquor and alcohol being cheaper there, people do try to illegally transport them through trains. We are regularly checking them at various points like Panvel, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and CST,” said a senior RPF officer on condition of anonymity.