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Modernisation: Stuck in a time warp

When it comes to acquiring the latest gadgets, Delhi Police’s political bosses go shopping even as the policemen obediently wait at home, wishing what they get is as good as it says on the brochure.

delhi Updated: Sep 15, 2011 02:01 IST

When it comes to acquiring the latest gadgets, Delhi Police’s political bosses go shopping even as the policemen obediently wait at home, wishing what they get is as good as it says on the brochure.

But mostly, the proverbial red tape ensures that these ‘innovations’ exist only on paper for as long as possible.

However, sometimes, the force gets stuck with expensive duds which it has to make do with till the battery runs out.

“What was the point of spending a whopping Rs 400 crore on TETRA technology that we now have? We weren’t even asked if we needed them in the first place?” asked a senior police officer.

The Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology was bought to connect various civic/government agencies — from the Organising Committee (OC) of the CWG to the Delhi Police — at the push of a single button during the Games last year. The handsets alone had cost R100 crore to the Central exchequer. But later, the police started facing a number of operational problems due to its low frequency.https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/15_09_11-Metro2a.jpg

Just a month ago, a major road accident that could have involved a VIP fatality was averted in central Delhi’s Connaught Place when an officer on duty decided to communicate with his ‘normal’ Motorola walkie-talkie when his TETRA handset conked off during VIP movement, sources said.

Moreover, the Delhi Police had been promised a number of new technologies nearly a year ago, but are yet to obtain half of those goods. This, despite the home ministry imposing self-assessed time periods for their procurement.

“Almost everything that we were promised, including the Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) and Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV), is either wholly or partly in the pipeline,” admitted a senior police officer. The ITS was first planned to be up and running before the CWG in October last year but close to a year later, the project is yet to attract bidders. The police have now written to the MHA to ‘fast track’ the process.

Similarly, the force is yet to get close to 400 of the promised 1,000 PCR vans, 140 emergency response vehicles (ERVs) and non-clonable ID card readers at every police station. The Glock pistols, which were to be given to all officers ranked sub inspector and above, too are yet to arrive. The police had been promised all these equipment before the Games.

"Only three or four ERVs are on the road at the moment. Also, not even a single car from the contingent of Swift Desire vehicles needed for https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/15_09_11-Metro2b.jpgour ‘officer-oriented policing’ initiative has been acquired yet. While non-clonable IDs have been provided to almost each Delhi Police officer, we have so far got only one machine that can read these cards. It has been installed at the Police Headquarters," said the officer.

However, there is somewhat of a glimmer of hope: The Delhi Police were supposed to get 14 high-speed Innova PCR vans for patrolling purposes in outer and southwest Delhi. Sources say that the police may get two of them by the end of this month.

First Published: Sep 15, 2011 01:12 IST