With a 40 per cent spurt in the number of convicts in the Tihar jail this year compared with 2009, the space available for accommodating this category of inmates has shrunk even more.
The Tihar prison complex has 10 sub-jails, out of which only one — number two — is exclusively reserved for convicts, who bear the maximum brunt of the space crunch.
But there is hope for them now: The jail administration on Monday reserved another sub-jail — number 7 — for them.
Tihar prison's Director General B.K. Gupta issued a circular in this regard. Out of a total of around 1, 600 convicts currently in the jail, 600 will be shifted to sub-jail 7 while the remaining will stay at sub-jail 2.
Sub-jail 2 will house inmates convicted of jail terms more than seven years, while sub-jail 7 will be occupied by those convicted of seven years or lesser jail terms.
"Till last year, the convicts comprised 18 per cent of the total prisoners' population of around 11,000 here…82 per cent were undertrials. This year, the percentage of the convicts has risen to around 25 per cent of the total inmates' population in Tihar," said Tihar jail's spokesperson Sunil Gupta.
Gupta added, "The reserving of one more sub-jail for the convicts will give them more space and allow them to be at one place."
The undertrials of sub-jail 7 will be now transferred to sub-jail numbers 1, 3 and 9.
Apart from providing additional space to the convicts, sub-jail 7, said Gupta, would also become a centre of short-term vocational skill courses preferred by convicts with shorter terms.
"There are many convicts here who stay here for a year or two. These inmates prefer short-term vocational courses lasting a month or two, and not the typical six month-long courses," said Gupta.
Accordingly, sub-jail 7 will now hold classes in skills including those on radio/television/refrigerator/air-conditioner/computer repair, papermaking and even printing.