Nagpur: “Madam, these things always take time… when the decision to open a new police station is taken, the first issue is finding suitable premises. As soon as this was located, we took it on rent. Furniture has been made – next step will be appointing staff. We plan to inaugurate it by the end of this month – but exact plan only my superiors can tell you” was the explanation given by a police source about a bungalow taken on rent in Surendra Nagar for a new Police Station ‘ Bajaj Nagar.’ This new station will have some areas from four existing stations attached to it – Baldi, Dhantoli, Rana Pratap Nagar and Ambazari.
The point for concern is that the cash starved Police H.Q. is already shelling out Rs. 1 lakh per month rent for these premises to owner Ghadge, but it is yet to be formally ‘opened’. It is learnt that senior Police officers want it to be inaugurated only at the hands of the C.M. Devendra Fadnavis, who is also Home Minister, but he has not found time in 3 months for this function.
On the one hand, police and citizens are expressing concern at the deteriorating law and order situation in the second capital which has seen a dramatic increase in crime rates, and on the other hand there are bureaucratic delays cited in opening of direly needed new branches! It is difficult to understand the priorities of law enforcement agencies in this scenario.
What is more a Police Inspector Suresh Nandanwar was also appointed as In Charge for this station and allotted a strength of 76 other personnel. But since the Station has not become functional yet, he has been now sent to Imamwada police station for the interim period. The P.I. of Imamwada is said to have suffered a heart attack and is on leave, so a replacement was needed there.
The proposed area under this station has the houses of many VIP politicians, specially belonging to the Ruling party and Congress. It also has in its vicinity slums/ bastis like Kachipura which are notorious for criminal activity. There are a number of bars also and residents along the Central Bazar road have often noticed that the entire street, specially the Ramdaspeth and Bajaj Nagar sections turns into an open air bar where people are sitting in parked cars and drinking for half the night.
There have been many incidents of cars parked there being vandalized and stolen also.
Another prominent main road along this area, the West High court road, sees many incidents of chain snatching etc. in the Laxmi Nagar vicinity. Senior police officers including the new Police Commissioner have expressed their commitment in acting decisively in controlling crime.
In these circumstances we hope that inauguration of important new Police stations are not being postponed for ‘electoral effect’ – when NMC elections are close but ‘Anchar Sanhita’ is not in effect yet – and the delay is genuine.