Last update: December 21, 2022, 12:24 PM IST
According to MHA data, a total of 233 police stations have no vehicles, of which 75 are in Uttar Pradesh, 65 in Andhra Pradesh and 47 in Jharkhand. (Representative photo)
MHA data shows that 233 police stations have no vehicles, 911 have no telephones and 115 have no wireless/cell phones. In the current fiscal year, none of the states could use funds from the “Assisting States for Police Modernization” plan.
The Home Ministry has faced accusations from several state governments of a lack of funds for police modernisation, cyber infrastructure and security, instead blaming states for not using the funds.
The ministry does not release the funds as the states have not utilized them in different schemes.
Interestingly, according to MHA data, 233 police stations do not have vehicles, 911 do not have telephones and 115 do not have wireless or mobile services.
In fact, in the current fiscal year, none of the states could use the ‘Assistance to States for Police Modernization’ funds due to the large unspent balance. Interestingly, 99% of the sub-scheme funds were spent in the previous three fiscals till 2020.
The objective of the sub-scheme is to help develop high quality independent operational forensic science facilities in the states by modernizing machinery and equipment, skilled manpower and laboratories for timely investigation.
“According to the guidelines for release of Central Sponsored Plan funds for release of quota to a State, the unspent balance of Central and State shares should not be more than 25% of the current annual allocation. None of the States could release funds during the current financial year as they have a large unspent balance. Total unspent balance of states is Rs 742.10 crore as on 16.12.2022,” MHA said in a reply.
Likewise, the Ministry of the Interior has also said that states cannot use funds for cyber security.
For a scheme that helps states acquire the latest weapons, training, advanced communication/forensic equipment, cyber policing equipment, governments formulate State Action Plans (SAPs) based on their strategic priorities and requirements. The release of this fund has been reduced from 768 million to 150 million in the last five years. Also, the allocation of funds has been reduced by 20% for this year’s financial year.
Also, states could not spend the Nirbhaya Fund created for women’s safety. Therefore, the Center decided to direct these funds to other activities.
States are blamed for tough rules
Most of the States and Union Territories have blamed the Center for rejecting their proposals at the initial stages only to say that funds cannot be allocated for such activities.
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and some northeastern states face similar challenges. “We are requesting funds for the modernization of the police for various activities, but the budget allocation is rejected saying that the funds cannot be used for (such) activities. We have been asked to revise our proposal. The Central Government has given a small scope to use these funds and make their use more difficult,” he said. a senior Andhra Pradesh official told News18.
Another Bihar state official said the Center had not even released the funds even after reviewing the proposals.
Police stations without phones, vehicles
According to MHA data, a total of 233 police stations have no vehicles, of which 75 are in Uttar Pradesh, 65 in Andhra Pradesh and 47 in Jharkhand.
Likewise, 900 police stations are working without telephones, the data revealed. Jharkhand has 211 police stations, Assam has 141 and J&K has 70.
Also, 115 police stations do not have wireless or mobile phones, 31 of these stations in Jharkhand (highest) and 28 in Punjab.
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