The industrial and property boom in Noida has not just attracted young professionals to the suburban town. Delhi-based criminals have also made a beeline in search of greener and ‘safer’ pastures. Shortage of personnel, lack of infrastructure and political ‘priorities’ are a few problems that make policing suspect here.
Shortage of staff
Sheer numbers defeat the Noida police when it comes to ensuring safety for residents. Former police officers say lack of enough police personnel makes it hard to tackle the increasing incidences of crime.
Retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, K.K. Gautam, said, “Noida requires a police strength of at least 1,600, almost double the strength we have currently.”
Of this small number of 700 policemen, at least 30 per cent are always deployed on VIP duty. Moreover, the recent termination of 18,000 policemen across the state by the UP government has further affected the strength. “At least 150 policemen were terminated from Noida,” said Gautam.
Police and PCR
A key element in curbing crime the world over is show of police presence on the roads, in market places and important areas. Miniscule budgetary allocation and lack of will have, however, hampered the Noida police from ensuring its men are seen in public, said Prakash Singh, former IPS officer who served in Uttar Pradesh.
“For all practical purposes, Noida is an extension of Delhi. But when it comes to providing adequate infrastructure to police, there is a vast disparity,” he said.
Proper patrolling is currently being done at only about a third of the places actually required to be manned, said Gautam. Police sources said Noida has 17 patrolling gypsy and 39 motorcycles. Due to non-availability of petrol, at least 20 motorcycles and five gypsy are not used much.
“The 180-litre petrol given for a month for a Gypsy gets exhausted in 10 to 15 days and we have to arrange for the fuel. As per the sanctioned fund, a Gypsy can run 24 kilometres a day, which means two kilometres an hour,” said R.B. Singh, retired constable driver.
The Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Association on Thursday gave a memorandum to Inspector General V.K. Gupta who is camping in Noida. “Police pickets remain empty and police personnel are hardly seen roaming in the area,” said Munna Sharma, general secretary of the federation.