The Delhi Police is stuck with some non performers for the next five years, and a survey seems like the only ray of hope.
In April 2010, Delhi police were given Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) handsets during the Commonwealth Games (CWG). Setting the central exchequer back by Rs 100 crore, these devices were meant to connect various civic/government agencies — from the Organising Committee (OC) of the CWG to the Delhi Police — at the push of a button. But the handsets could not live up to the promise, and the Delhi Police have now been asked to conduct an internal evaluation drive and suggest improvements to the vendor.
"According to the Delhi Police, the sets routinely develop connection problems and are not viable for their line of work," said a senior official from the Delhi Government on condition of anonymity.
The survey is supposed to begin in a phased manner, sometime this week. It will initially be conducted across three Delhi Police districts over a period of three to four days. Other districts will eventually follow suit with their suggestions on how to make TETRA better, said sources.
Though the Delhi Police chose to remain tight-lipped about the issue, sources said the survey will review 2,500 to 3,000 handsets in operation within the force and being used by lower-wrung officers.
TETRA users discovered operational problems relating to its low frequency.
These sets operate on a certain frequency up to 400 megahertz, have 46 basic stations and a call-drop possibility of 1-2% along with an encryption facility to ensure the privacy of all official communication it facilitates.
Said a police officer who has used one such set and now prefers using his mobile phone, "In a densely-populated area, where there are too many walls around the user, there is a signal problem. In a less populated area, the absence of towers is a problem."
"We already have 10,000 walkie-talkies which operate on double the frequency in addition to mobile phones – all three of which we have to lug with us at all times," the officer complained.