Despite significant flow of funds under the modernization of police force programme, not much has changed in the Jammu and Kashmir Police department. Situation has gone from bad to worse. There has been little or no improvement in the flow of funds.
This been stated by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its audit report for the year 2015, a copy of which is with Newspoint Bureau. The report has stressed that police station building is a visible evidence of police availability in addition to being a convenient place for the police to work and for interaction with people while pointing out that in Jammu and Kashmir, 18 police stations and 103 police posts are without their own buildings and functioning in hired accommodation.
Under the centrally sponsored “Modernization of police force” scheme, an expenditure of Rs. 701.11 crore had been incurred by the department during the period 2004-14, out of which Rs. 394.30 crore had been incurred on construction works such as police stations, family quarters, barracks and other buildings. However, an expenditure of only Rs. 18.10 crore (3 percent) was incurred on construction and repairs/ renovation of police stations during the period 2004-14.
The Police Post at Bhambla, Reasi was found functioning from a small private room hired by the Munshi of police post on personal account. Despite non-provision of proper accommodation, 22 police personnel had been shown on record as posted at this police post. The Superintendent of Police Reasi stated that transfer of state land at Bhambla for construction of Police Post which was under process would be taken up after availability of funds.
The reply was not tenable as proper accommodation was required to be arranged for functioning of police post. The reply was, however, silent on the rationale of posting 22 personnel in a PP where the Department had not even provided proper hired accommodation. Two police stations namely, Rajouri and Rehmbal in Udhampur had been functioning in buildings which had been declared as unsafe and both these stations had not been included in the “up-gradation programme of police stations”. The Superintendent of Police Udhampur stated that the matter in this regard had already been taken up with the Police Headquarters.
The Police station Nowgam, Srinagar accommodated in the house of a migrant was gutted in fire and thereafter, the station had been functioning from a small pre-fabricated room in the lawn of the building and arms and the detenues were being kept in the ground floor of the gutted building. The Police post Noorbagh, Srinagar had been functioning in dilapidated rented building and the police post Delina Baramulla had been functioning in a school building without basic amenities.
The availability of reception room, interrogation room, rest room, single lock-up room was dismal and ranged between 17 per cent and 49 per cent only. The separate toilets for women existed in only 13 (12 per cent) of the 105 Police stations and none of the PSs in six of the eight Police districts had a separate toilet for the women. It was seen that even PSs like Shergarhi, Nishat and Nowgam falling in Srinagar city/ or nearer to the city were without lock up rooms.
The Superintendent of Police Srinagar stated (August 2014) that permanent lock ups had not been established in police stations Nishat and Nowgam due to establishment of these police stations in private rented accommodation and that the police station Shergarhi had been dismantled due to construction of fly over. Audit noticed that the provision for vital infrastructure elements was not made in the Project Reports of construction of new police stations as well as up gradation of existing police stations as discussed below:
The provision of vital infrastructural facilities such as reception room and interrogation room had not been included in the Detailed Project Reports for construction of the new Police Stations in three test-checked Police Stations. Records of 37 police stations upgraded (upgradation cost: Rs. 8.57 crore) during 2013-14 showed that up gradation works were executed without formulation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and most of the expenditure was incurred on repairs, white wash, paint etc. Further, out of 26 upgraded police stations, reception rooms were constructed in six, interrogation room in one and rest rooms were constructed in four police stations.
Executive Engineer PCD (PHQ) Jammu stated that field engineering staff had extensively visited all the police stations to ascertain details of upgradation works and that all instructions issued by the Police Headquarter’s regarding upgradation of police stations had been followed. The reply was not acceptable as these works were of repair/ renovation nature and that the BPR&D recommendations of extending space in existing police stations by 800 sq. ft. to provide infrastructural facilities were not followed.