Modernization of police force goes awry in J&K, infrastructure major bottleneck

Vishal Sharma

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.


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