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Tobacco chewing commuters on Lucknow Metro’s radar

PTI | Lucknow |

In the City of Nawabs, security officials deployed at the Lucknow Metro stations are on a task to sniff out tobacco from commuters and have weeded out over 20 kg tobacco products in the first two days of its launch.

Metro passengers in the city have been trying various tricks to smuggle tobacco and related products inside coaches.

“The passengers, who are in the habit of carrying tobacco products, are not ready to give up and try to smuggle it pan masala and other products in their pockets, socks and belts,” a security personnel deployed at the Charbagh Metro Station said.

In the first two days of its launch, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) security collected over 20 kgs of tobacco and related products.

“During frisking while entering Metro premises, Metro officials were able to collect approximately 20 kg tobacco and other related items like pan, pan masala, cigarette etc. from commuters,” LMRC MD Kumar Keshav said.

The confiscated items will be handed over to the municipal corporation for disposal.

“I am very thankful to commuters for their cooperation in frisking and keeping the metro clean. Lucknow Metro is a green and environmentally friendly public transport and it is our duty to keep it clean. The efforts of LMRC and public will definitely help in keeping metro a clean public transport,” the MD said.

Of the total eight stations, six kgs of tobacco products were seized from Charbagh followed by Transport Nagar, where four kg of tobacco products were seized.

Many of those caught gave excuses that they were not aware that tobacco products were not allowed inside the metro.

“Out of five, every third commuter was carrying a tobacco product and was found chewing tobacco. It is a difficult task to check them. But we are on our toes and committed to keeping the metro clean,” a security member said.

The 8.5-km-long ‘Priority Corridor’ from Transport Nagar to Charbagh, which is part of Phase 1 of the project, is operational from 6 am to 10 pm every day.

Over 32,000 passengers had boarded Lucknow Metro on the first day of the commercial run on September 6 while the number came down to over 28,000 on the second day yesterday.

LMRC has set a target to complete the entire 23 km track from Amausi to Munshipulia by March 2019. This includes a 3.5 km underground track between Hussainganj to Hazratganj.