Proposed police station for tourists in Jodhpur remains on paper
In 2013, the then chief minister Ashok Gehlot had given his nod to tourist police stations in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur to boost the security of lakhs of tourists who flock to the desert state. Four years down the line the police station, meant exclusively for tourists, is yet to see the light of the day in Jodhpur.
Jodhpur, known for the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, is a preferred destination for tourists visiting Rajasthan. At present, their security is in the hands of the tourist assistant force (TAF), which does not have any legal sanctity.
Incidents of misbehaviour with domestic and foreign tourists, cheating by shopkeepers, hawkers, unauthorised guides and touts are regularly reported in Jodhpur. Moreover, a case of rape of a foreign tourist and two cases of molestation was lodged in Jodhpur in the last three years. In view of these incidents, the state government had sanctioned the three tourist police stations in 2013.
Recently, the state tourism minister while responding to a question by Babu Singh Rathore, MLA from Shergarh, in state assembly cited lack of land and building as the reason for not setting up the police stations. The police have written a letter to the Jodhpur Development Authority and the municipal corporation. The tourist police station will only start functioning once land or building is made available.
“We have got the letter from the police and we will ask them where and how much land they need. We will have a look at our land bank and then jointly decide where the police station can come up,” said Durgesh Bissa, JDA commissioner.
“About 15 guards of TAF are at work in Jodhpur. These guards do not have any legal entity. The guards themselves depend on the police for help and action if tourists report any misbehaviour. Tourists can get immediate justice at tourist police stations, like at a women police station, without the issue of jurisdiction,” said Indra Sharma, a tour operator.
Over five lakh domestic and foreign tourists visit Jodhpur every year.
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