After coming close to losing Rs 109 crore that the Centre had allotted for modernisation of the state’s police force over the past 10 years, the state government has got back the amount under the condition that it would be spent within the current financial year.
This amount is now part of the Rs 410 crore 2013-2014 modernisation plan that was announced by the state on Saturday. The plan has been charted out keeping in mind the rising number of terror and naxal attacks across Maharashtra.
The plan includes the purchase of modern weapons, bullet-proof jackets, helmets and shields, transport vehicles and communication systems such as satellite phone interceptors, cyber crime kits, cell phone trackers, voice data bank, radio link wireless systems.
In the budget session of Parliament in May, Union minister of state for home Mullappally Ramachandran stated that Maharashtra was among the 10-odd states that has not utilised the funds allotted by the Centre for police modernisation. As it could thwart chances of getting funds in the future, the state got its act together and approached the Centre, asking it to re-appropriate the amount that has remained unutilised for the past decade.
The home department issued a government resolution on Saturday, stating that funds have been revalidated. “This amount would have lapsed but we approached the central government and explained to them that this amount was unspent because of unavailability of land required for setting up training units.
They have agreed to let us now utilise the amount for police stations, special forces, but with a rider to spend it within this year,” a home department official said. Speaking about vehicles and weapons being procured, the official said: “We have tried to ensure that the numbers are not important but the technology has to be better and more sophisticated than what we have.”