The police are on the lookout for 'hotter' wheels and are looking beyond borders for inspiration.
So much so that Delhi Police are reading up on what their counterparts as far as in Sri Lanka prefer to ride as they gradually inch towards bidding their fleet of characteristic white Maruti Gypsies farewell: not even a single one of these will be acquired this year.
The step, senior police officers said, will entail a visible shift at the ground. The Station House Officer (SHO), who happens to be in charge at your local police station, may soon get swankier rides.
"The initiative is a part of our modernisation scheme," explained a senior police officer. "We are looking for five to six-seat vehicles now, preferably 4x4s." "At the moment, the Mahindra Bolero, which is in service in Sri Lanka, and the Scorpio, which many have suggested, are two 'items' that is on the wish list. However, Toyota's Innova, too, is a strong contender," a senior official said.
Currently, there are 300 to 400 Maruti Gypsy vehicles, mostly government-sanctioned vehicles allotted to around 165 SHOs, at Delhi Police's service. The rest, around 250 to 300 of these, acquired between 2010 and 2011, were named 'Emergency Response Vehicles' (ERVs) and are now attached to the Police Control Room (PCR).
"For gypsies, the criteria of condemnation are five years of service and 1.5 lakh kilometres as far as vehicles assigned to SHOs are concerned," the officer said.
"Depending on how soon we are able to make the call about which vehicle to buy and which officer's vehicle meets these requirements, some officers might get new rides by the end of this year."
So far, no vehicle had had the 'potential' to replace the good ol' Gypsy until the Toyota Qualis came along in 2010. They later moved to the Innova. Meanwhile, sources said history might repeat as the odds are slightly tipped towards the Innova.