Just try looking for a decent accommodation on rent in Delhi with Rs 3,500 in your pocket. Two things will happen: either property dealers will laugh you away or you will get a one-room set in some run-down place.
But for a Delhi Police constable, there is no alternative. He has to manage with Rs 3,500 he gets as rent allowance. And if a constable gets government accommodation, he has to forfeit that as well.
Left with no choice, the constables are forced to live away from their families. "Not everyone gets to live in a government flat. If you are lucky to get one, that Rs 3,500 will be taken away from you. If we bring our family here, the rent would be at least Rs 9,000 which we cannot afford," Nawed Alam (name changed), a beat constable posted in south Delhi, said.
Finding a single room for Rs 3,500 is also very difficult. "These things affect us mentally as living with family brings a level of comfort. A room for Rs 3,500 means we have to stay far from our police station. In Delhi Police, most lower-level personnel are from neighborhood states such as Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan and they are forced to live away from their families," Alam said.
To accommodate the entire staff, the Delhi Police are in the process of constructing a small township in Dheerpur area of northwest Delhi, which is expected to have facilities such as malls and schools.
The proposed complex, to be built at a cost of about Rs 1,700 crore, will have 5,202 flats of various categories to cater to different ranks. As per plan, there will be 4,256 Type-II flats, 700 Type-III flats and 246 in Type-IV category. Type-II flats are for head constables, Type- III for sub-inspectors and inspectors and type- IV flats for officers of ACP rank and above.
The Delhi Police also plan to construct over 5,000 houses for officers. The project will be initiated on the public private participation model.