For more than six months, 17 police stations in the city have been functioning without a deputy police commissioner appointed to oversee their work.
DCPs posted with other police units, like the Special Branch and Local Arms, are looking after the police stations falling under Zone 5 (Dadar to Kurla) and zone 6 (Chembur to Govandi), as an additional charge, over and above the responsibilities of their primary posting.
The situation has been like this since May this year, when several police officers had been promoted or transferred.
For instance, Aswati Dorje, who was the DCP of zone 5, was transferred to the Special Branch in May. Ever since, DCP Anu Bhitre (traffic) has been handling the additional charge for zone 5. Similarly, Dilp Sawant, the DCP of zone 6, was transferred to the State Reserve Police. The DCP (local arms) Manoj Lohiya has been given the additional charge.
Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Nisar Tamboli passed the back to the government: “The postings of DCP are done by the government and we are not in a position to comment on this,” he said.
However, an officer from a police station in zone 6, on condition of anonymity, said that such a situation can reduce effectiveness of policing. “A DCP is well versed with the area under his jurisdiction and knows the major problems it faces. However, a DCP who handles it as an additional charge does not have the time to gather the in depth knowledge of the area, which is important for policing.
Former director general of police, Maharashtra, PS Pasricha, speaking to HT, also said that this is a matter of concern. “The DCP is the most important person in the zone. A delay of eight-10 days is understandable but not a delay of six months.”