Delhi Police are set to get bigger with plans afoot to add more than 15,000 constables to the force which is currently in the middle of a power tussle between the Centre — to which it reports — and the Delhi government.
“The home ministry is working on a cabinet note to get necessary approval for the creation of 15,000 to 20,000 new posts of constables in the Delhi Police. Final discussions are being held on the exact number of posts and the period within which the new posts will be filled,” a senior government functionary told HT.
The Delhi Police have a total sanctioned strength of around 84,500 but are short-staffed with only close to 77,600 of these posts filled. Of them, around 44,000 are constables. The shortage in ranks became evident last week when, busy with security arrangements for the India-Africa summit, the Delhi Police could not spare a single officer to escort the Uber rape case convict to court for sentencing.
The proposal, if implemented, will increase the constabulary strength by 35-40%, giving the force more boots on the ground. A significant number of these posts are likely to go to women, in line with the government’s plans to bring their representation in the force to 33%.
A spate of sexual assaults on minors have put the Delhi Police in a tight spot, giving chief minister Arvind Kejriwal another chance to seek control of it.
“…. the question is whether it (the proposal) would become a reality. Less than a fortnight ago, the home ministry submitted in high court that the Delhi Police would require 16,000 additional personnel to separate criminal investigation from policing. The finance ministry said it would incur a recurring expenditure of Rs 475 crore per annum, which the government cannot bear. We hope the two ministries are on the same page,” a Delhi government spokesperson said.
According to data submitted in Parliament this year, Delhi has 381 police personnel for every one lakh residents. Though higher than the India-wide ratio of 139 and well within the United Nations’ standard of 220 to a lakh, the Capital falls behind New York (417) and Washington (612).