Some New Delhi metro commuters will be breathalysed to detect whether they are drunk under a pilot scheme planned by the state-run transport network, an official said Tuesday.
Officers of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will use breathalysers to screen travellers in the Indian capital and identify those under the influence of alcohol, said CISF spokesman Hemendra Singh.
If the test "confirms the commuter is drunk, he will not be allowed to board the train" to avoid disturbing other passengers in the often congested carriages, Singh told AFP.
"Drunkenness is an unnecessary nuisance to other passengers. It's uncomfortable if you have to share space with someone who is reeking of alcohol," Singh said.
Also drunken brawls have become a problem on the metro, especially in the late evening, the spokesman said.
Singh said the CISF which is in charge of metro security would only breathalyse people who show signs of being under the influence of alcohol. The scheme will be launched on an experimental basis to start with.
Delhi's rapid mass transit network was launched in 2002. It has proved hugely popular with commuters and has expanded to all parts of the city and suburbs.
The hand-held breathalyser gadgets will generate slips of paper with the names of those whose alcohol levels are found to be high and this will help the CISF build a database of potential troublemakers, Singh said.
New Delhi has already started a programme to breathalyse drivers to crack down on drunken driving and reduce the high number of road accidents each year.