Despite possessing the newly-sanctioned fleet of 370 police control room (PCR) vehicles, the central police control room (CPCR) of Delhi Police, due to shortage of drivers, have not been able to live up to their dream of having 1,000 PCR vans operating on Delhi roads for almost a month.
The CPCR, however, has now heaved a sigh of relief with 500 constables, out of 2,339 recruited constables who passed out on Friday, being attached to the department to drive the 270-odd new PCR vehicles. The 500 constables, who have valid driving licences, will now undergo an induction training programme before being given the responsibility to drive the vans across the city.
Sources in Delhi Police said that it was due to the shortage of skilled drivers that only 100 PCR vehicles were flagged off by Union home minster Sushilkumar Shinde last month, drivers for which were arranged by exercising the only available alternative - pulling out drivers from districts and other departments.
HT was the first to report about the crunch of drivers in the CPCR which had barred the department from launching its new PCR vehicles.
Besides sending a proposal for getting 370 PCR vans, the Delhi Police, in a letter sent last year to the ministry of home affairs (MHA), had also requested for recruitment of at least 4,000 personnel in the force, required to be deployed in PCR vans as drivers and gunman.
But the request for new recruitment of personnel was turned down and the ministry, sources claimed, had told the Delhi Police to "arrange for staff" on it its own.
With enhanced manpower, a senior police officer said, the CPCR would be able to operate all the newly inducted PCR vehicles on the roads of Delhi.
"It's not that our force do not have sufficient number of drivers to drive the number of PCR vans available with us. But as the nature of job does not attract everybody and we were not in a position to force anybody for doing the job, it was difficult for us to get drivers for the new fleet of 370 vehicles," the senior officer said on the condition of anonymity.
But as per their new recruitment policy, the Delhi Police now has the liberty to send new recruits to departments where their presence is urgently required and they can be put to any duty. It has now been made mandatory for Delhi Police aspirants to have a valid driving licence before applying for the post of sub-inspectors and constables, the officer added.