Broke MP jails running on prisoners’ wages
Reeling under a colossal debt, the jail department in Madhya Pradesh has now turned to prisoners to run the show and is using their money to keep the jails functioning, reports P Naveen.bhopal Updated: Feb 24, 2009 01:17 IST
Reeling under a colossal debt, the jail department in Madhya Pradesh has now turned to prisoners to run the show and is using their money to keep the jails functioning.
The department is in the red by more than Rs 10 crore. Such is the sorry state of affairs that the jail department has not just stopped paying prisoners for their manual labour but even went to the extent of spending the dues owed to them to keep the jails functioning.
In order to clear the huge debts and bills of other departments, the jail department has stopped paying prisoners' wages for the last six months. “We don't have the required amount to pay the bills of civil supplies, food department, gas agencies, milk federation and private contractors,” said a jail official on condition of anonymity.
Owing to the lack of funds, the principal secretary of the jail department has dashed off a letter to the revenue department, seeking a contingency advance of Rs 10 crore to run the jails.
The three jails in Indore, which have 3,500 inmates, is under a debt of Rs 55 lakh. The amount will go up to Rs 85 lakh by the end of the current financial year. The financial condition of other jails is equally bad.
Last year the budget allocation for the department was Rs 29 crore of which Rs 10 crore was spent in clearing debts. The department was left with Rs 16 crore. “We have to spend Rs 25 per prisoner per day. It is very difficult to continue in such conditions,” said another jailor requesting anonymity.
“The State Human Rights Commission has been asking us to ensure proper medication for prisoners but in the prevailing conditions, this is impossible,” he said.
Officials concerned refused to comment on the issue citing it as an internal matter of the department.