Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil asked officers to come up with a fast-track plan for mega-city policing that will offer protection from terrorist attacks and other violence.
Patil spoke this afternoon at a meeting in his North Block office, where he had rushed from a function at Nanded in Maharashtra, after being told of the blasts in Assam.
At the one-hour meeting with senior officials, including Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Intelligence Bureau director PC Haldar and several joint secretaries, Patil made it clear that the Mega-City Policing Scheme needed to be “revamped in record time”.
The Home Minister said, in its present form, the scheme had been reduced to “tokenism”. Quoting Patil, a senior official said on condition of anonymity: “He (the minister) felt that it was very obvious that states weren’t in a position to fully implement this scheme and in any case, states rarely have the funds to spare.”
Pointing out that cities were repeatedly becoming a target, the minister is believed to have told officials “we already know what needs to be done…we should just find a way to do it and do it as fast possible. States are not in a position to do the needful because mega city policing is a vast concept.”
The scheme was introduced in 2005-06 initially to cover seven metro cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. The states were required to submit proposals on specific plans to upgrade each city’s policing needs based on individual demographic growth patters, unique crime trends, and infra-structural requirements.
Ministry officials hinted today that the scheme may be expanded to cover more cities across India, now that the minister had taken such a strong stance on the matter.