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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Prison diaries: New jail in Mumbai’s Mankhurd gets state push

Maharashtra recently started the process of building a new prison at Mandale in Mankhurd, after the district collector transferred a five-acre plot to the government in October 2018.

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2019 15:16 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The Mankhurd prison would be the second central jail in Mumbai after the Arthur Road Jail (in picture).
The Mankhurd prison would be the second central jail in Mumbai after the Arthur Road Jail (in picture). (HT File )
         

Mumbai is expected to soon get a new central prison, its first since Independence, in Mankhurd. The prison is expected to house 2,500 inmates and reduce the burden on Arthur Road jail in Tardeo.

Maharashtra recently started the process of building a new prison at Mandale in Mankhurd, after the district collector transferred a five-acre plot to the government in October 2018.

The prison will be constructed by the Maharashtra State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation, a state government undertaking. Once completed, it will be the second central prison in Mumbai after Arthur Road jail, which currently houses around 3,500 inmates against its sanctioned capacity of 804.

In April, the state home department requested the state’s public works department (PWD) to prepare a design in accordance to the prison manual, while also accommodating maximum inmates and fulfilling the prisoners’ human rights requirements. Accordingly, the home department wants the structure to be a multi-storeyed building.

However, the PWD is facing a challenge meeting the specifications put forward by the home department. This is because five acres of land have been allotted for the project, against the demand for 12 acres.

“The plot allotted for the prison is too small against the requisition of capacity of inmates. The prison will have a three-layer security, which requires ample open space. The inmates cannot be kept inside the barracks during daytime and there must be an alternate arrangement of space. The prison will have auxiliary facilities including staff quarters, training college for the staff, hospital, trial court, high security cells and a conference hall. To accommodate more inmates, the home department is insisting on a multi-storeyed building, but maintaining the human rights norms would be difficult,” said an official from the PWD.

Meanwhile, an official from the home department said, “The plot allotted to us shares the casting yard for one of the Metro lines. The transfer of land was delayed as it had been encroached upon by one of the government contractors building low-cost housing. Once the design is prepared by the PWD, the construction is likely to begin early next year.”

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 00:01 IST

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