Parking crunch: Delhi Police search for a bigger auto pond
Elaborating on the problem, a senior police officer said they require at least 10 acres of open land so that the hundred of the impounded vehicles that are lying at the district’s 15 police stations can also be accommodatedcities Updated: Aug 16, 2018 03:51 IST
As many as 2,100 cars, two-wheelers, autorickshaws, trucks and buses — confiscated by the Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in criminal acts and accidents — have been rusting away at the south district’s centralised automobile warehouse in Pushp Vihar. But with the allotment of the five-acre government land — which has been serving as the temporary auto pond for the last 12 years — to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to build staff quarters, the police are looking for a new address for an auto pond.
Although the CBI is yet to take possession of the land, the fact that the agency can claim it anytime has left the Delhi Police top brass baffled. Shifting of the impounded vehicles, most of which have been reduced to junk, would be a tough task, police officers said, adding that they are yet to find an alternative space to dump the vehicles despite looking for one since April this year.
Joint commissioner of police (southern range) Devesh Chandra Srivastava said, “We are looking for a bigger space in south Delhi so that the impounded vehicles kept at the existing auto pond can be shifted.”
Elaborating on the problem, a senior police officer said they require at least 10 acres of open land so that the hundred of the impounded vehicles that are lying at the district’s 15 police stations can also be accommodated.
Of the automobiles kept at the auto pond in Pushp Vihar, around 200 cars, bikes and autos were gutted when a fire broke out there on May 29. The incident of fire, however, exposed the lack of security cover at the auto pond.
According to sources, the auto pond or the district malkhana, is jammed with vehicles, which are stacked almost on each other. Of the 2,100 vehicles parked there, around 600 are case properties of the five police stations that became part of the southwest district last year. “Initially, separate blocks were earmarked for parking of cars coming from each police station. But we had to withdraw the practice due to lack of space,” said an officer.
The policemen who are tasked with guarding the auto pond also live in pathetic conditions. Hindustan Times visited the auto pond and found that three policemen — head constables Ram Narayan, Anil and Constable Harish Yadav — have been deployed. Each of them work in 24-hour shifts. Since there is no concrete structure for the policemen to sit at, they live in a makeshift tent.
The HT spot check also found that the auto pond lacks basic amenities such as drinking water, bathroom as well as permanent power connection.
Joint CP Srivastava said they plan to find the new auto pond in an area which would either be covered with roof or shed so that the vehicles don’t start deteriorating. “We plan to have proper accommodation for the policemen deployed at the new auto pond as well. We will also ensure that CCTV cameras are installed all across the premises and it has boundary walls with iron fences,” he maintained.
First Published: Aug 16, 2018 03:49 IST