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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Jul 2014

Financial crisis looms large on district police

Sachin Sharma, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, October 22, 2013
First Published: 20:59 IST(22/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:00 IST(22/10/2013)

With the Punjab Petrol Dealers' Association (PPDA) having announced to stop the supply of fuel to the state government vehicles from November 1, the district police is in for bad days ahead in the wake of its poor financial health.

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As per reports, some of the petrol pump owners have already stopped giving fuel to the police vehicles as the department owed lakhs of rupees to them.

The problem is not with the fuel bills only. Same is the situation with the repair work as the district police department owe around `50 lakh to the owners various workshops where police vehicles were being repaired for the past two and half years.

Sources disclosed that the district police owed over `1 crore to petrol pump owners and workshop owners, while the department was left with meager funds to run the affairs.

"The district police were provided a sum of `1.74 crore for 2013-14 by the state government for purchasing fuel and getting vehicles repaired, which is too meager taking into account the actual expenses being incurred under these heads, which is about `4crore," sources said.

"Out of the total amount the police department received for the financial year, a major portion has already been spent. Now it has the challenge to meet its expenses with a meagre sum for the rest of the financial year. As the petrol pump dealers have started refusing fuel to police vehicles, things may worsen in the coming days," said one of police officials on condition of anonymity.

From the funds allocated, the department paid `90 lakh to clear the pending fuel bills till December 2012 and for the first quarter of 2013. The district police divided the remaining sum `84 lakh in three parts, earmarking `28 lakh for each quarter. However, the police reportedly have already spent `56 lakh from this amount and are left with only `28 lakh to meet the expenses in remaining five and half months of this fiscal.

Superintendent of police (headquarters), Bathinda, Jasvir Singh, when asked about the situation, said that they have written to higher police officials about the situation. "Immediately after assuming charge a few days back, I have written to SSP Ravcharan Singh Brar about the situation and the letter has been forwarded to deputy inspector general Amar Singh Chahal. Such situations do arise, but some solution will definitely come out," he said.

Punjab Petrol Dealers' Association has announced to stop supply of fuel to all government vehicles from November 1 in case the government failed to clear their bills, which were in crores of rupees.

* Total vehicles with the district police: 185
* Estimated annual expenditure on fuel and repair: Rs. 3.93 crore
* Estimated annual expenditure on tyres and batteries: Rs. 1.20 lakh
* Estimated annual expenditure on engine oil and overhauling: Rs. 6.50 lakh
* Estimated annual expenditure on fuel and maintenance of vehicles: Rs. 4 crore
* Funds allocated by state government for this financial year: Rs. 1.74 crore

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