The state government is formulating an inclusive policy on police housing, which should be completed in the next three months.
State home minister RR Patil announced this in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, saying that the policy would not only look at housing for serving police staff, but also of retired staff still occupying police quarters.
The proposal was announced in response to a question from legislator Subhash Chavan, on why police staff were housed in old, dilapidated buildings.
“The police housing cooperative societies too have housing provided to staff, which are in a similar condition,” he said.
Currently, police staffers occupy 260 chawls and 180 galas in Mumbai. Saying that the issue has been pending for more than a decade, council deputy chairman Vasant Davkhare said: “The public works department says they have no money to redevelop homes. When senior officers from the Indian Administrative Services and the Indian Police Services are allotted good homes, why are those policemen lower in the ranks kept hanging on the issue?”
He added that the government has always said that providing housing to the police will lay a precedent for staff housing for other government departments. “But the government needs to develop the will to say that they are making an exception for the police, for the work they do,” Davkhare added.
In response to their contentions, Patil said that the government had several issues to address. “Police who have rented homes pay very low rents and so, owners of the buildings refuse to redevelop them on their own. Also, many retired policemen haven’t vacated their homes, leaving no homes for new officers. We will see if Mhada homes can be given to retired officers,” he said.