Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (Who will guard the guards themselves?). Some 1,900 years after it first started doing the rounds of Rome’s public baths, satirist Juvenal’s famed query is echoing along municipal corridors as the civic body grapples with the problem of evicting policemen from its property. The property in question is the structure that formerly housed the MG Road police station, a building situated in the heart of the City with a value running into crores of rupees.
Although the police station has now shifted to a new site the cops are yet to hand over possession of the old premises to the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) despite several reminders. The delay has raised the hackles of the civic body, which says the cops no longer have any justification for holding on to the building.
The Corporation further charges that the delay is adversely impacting a proposal to set up a multi-storied parking lot at the site that would help decongest traffic in and around the busy MG Road area. It may be noted that the structure in question housed a government primary school until it caught the eye of the police who were scouting a suitable location for the MG Road police station.
The cops soon moved in and although the IMC vociferously protested the acquisition its objections were to no avail. The building takeover eventually forced authorities to merge the school with another government-owned primary school nearby.
Civic officials say that after they moved in the cops assured that their stay would only be temporary and promised to hand over the property once the new police station was ready. The cops, however, failed to live up to their word, charges the civic body.
The building was completed quite a while ago and it’s been nearly a fortnight since the MG Road police station started functioning from the new premises. But the district police merrily continue to occupy the structure while the IMC gnashes its teeth in frustration. What is it that they say about “jis ki laathi…”
Let there be light
HUNDREDS OF streetlights across the City have been on the blink for periods ranging from a week to several months. Come evening and many streets, particularly those in residential neighbourhoods are enveloped in darkness. The blackout, of course, constitutes a traffic hazard.
More worryingly, it poses a serious law and order problem. Chain snatchers, muggers and eve-teasers take advantage of the darkness to carry out their nefarious trade making it difficult for residents, particularly women to venture out. Meanwhile, the streetlight maintenance and bulb-replacement campaign initiated by the IMC has generated more heat than light.
DISPLAYING A casual disregard for governmental directives the IMC has recommended the names of over 20 officials whom it would like to see occupying important deputation posts. Following the HC directive on deputation employees the Government asked civic bodies to submit a list of deputation posts whose abolition would impair their effective functioning.
The State government forbade civic bodies from recommending any officials directing them only to submit the names of the posts. Despite this the IMC administration forwarded the names of several officials, Additional Municipal Commissioner Kumar Purshottam, IMC Secretary JC Galar and several others close to Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma, alongwith the list of deputation posts.