The police quarters in Worli are in desperate need of repairs
With paint peeling off the walls and corridors scarred by deep cracks running along the ceiling and walls, the building is just one of several dilapidated structures in the compound. Residents fear that if the situation worsens, the entire structure may collapse.
Proposals to construct new police quarters and repair the old ones are long pending while scores of policemen serving the city force for the last 15-20 years remain deprived of official residences. At least 20,000 cops in the city are forced to live on rent in chawls or in slums, sometimes in the distant suburbs.
A head constable, who is attached to the Crawford Market police headquarters and lives in Kalyan, said, “It’s difficult, I have to reach here by 8 am, but there is no guarantee of going home by 8 pm. If I had stayed somewhere in Mumbai, it would not be so difficult. When I leave in the morning my children are sleeping, when I reach home they are fast asleep. I hardly get time with them,’’ he said.
The Maharashtra State Police Housing Corporation (MSPHC), with a corpus of Rs 30 crore sanctioned two years ago for the construction of new quarters, has a dismal record. Plans to build over 500 housing units using the Rs 30 crore sanctioned by the state, for instance, have not been implemented through the tenures of at least two successive MSPHC managing directors, P S Pasricha and Rahul Gopal.
Managing director of the housing corporation, Suprakash Chakravarty, said, “We are making a lot of quarters. We floated tenders for the construction of new quarters and the work is in progress.’’
As for the dilapidated police quarters at Chembur, Ghatkopar, BDD Chawl Worli, Pant Nagar and Naigaon, the Mumbai police chief is optimistic that work will proceed at a smooth pace.
“Following repeated reminders, the government has sanctioned Rs 48 crore for the repair of these quarters. The PWD which will repair the quarters has already been given Rs 20 crore by the state,’’ police commissioner A N Roy said. Sources said there are over 1,500 quarters that are in need of urgent repairs. But, as usual, there are no deadlines for anything.
The Times of India, October 25, 2005