Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has given his nod to set up ultra modern jails in the newly formed districts in the state. Besides, the design and plan for the three ultra-modern high security new jails at Amritsar, Bathinda and Muktsar to be constructed at a total cost of about Rs. 300 crore within two years has also been approved.
The new jails would be equipped with CCTV cameras, mobile jammers and other security equipments. This was revealed by Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Punjab jail minister here on Friday.
While addressing a high level meeting of the department, the minister said the government was fully aware of the problems being faced by the prison staff in handling the nexus between the drug peddlers and the prisoners in jails and to break this nexus, the state government has decided to empower the superintendents of jails to search the prisons and conduct criminal proceeding.
The matter was being taken up with the CM before final implementation, said the minister. The minister has asked the officers to conduct extensive search operations in Punjab prisons with a view to nabbing the objectionable material posing security threat from the jail inmates. The officers confiscating maximum of such things from the prisoners would be honoured by the state government, said the minister.
To ensure timely medical aid to the prisoners, the minister said that a committee comprising superintendent jail, medical officer of the jail and civil surgeon have been constituted to identify the psychiatrist, pediatrician, gynecologist and other specialists’ on call doctors of the area to be on the panel of the jail department.
Referring to extending proper health and hygiene care to the children, below the age of 6 years, of the women prisoners in the state, the minister has directed the officers to ensure adequate health and hygiene cover to 88 children of more than 1,000 women prisoners in state jails. To improve the food quality in jails, the minister said that the dieticians from the dietetics PGI department have recommended a proper diet chart for the children which would be implemented at the earliest.
He has asked the jail authorities to monitor diet norms system in all the jails. A committee comprising IG (Jails), representatives of central jails and sub-jails besides a dietician from PGI Chandigarh have already been constituted which would submit its report within 15 days to recommended proper nutritious food for jail inmates.
With a view to engaging the prisoners in lucrative venture, the minister said that the state government was in touch with the Indian Oil Corporation working out the modalities to open the petrol/filling stations at Nabha, Sangrur and Gurdaspur where prisoners with good conduct would be given jobs.
Besides, the department has also chalked out a plan to set up its own bakery unit on the pattern of Tihar Jail, the minister added.