Surely, Hyderabad city police cruising on brand new Toyota Innovas will enhance the brand image of the capital besides boosting the policemen’s morale. Yet, there is a danger of all this coming to a naught if efforts are not made to ensure proper fuel supply.
While not replacing the vehicles which reached the condemned status had been a bane for the police in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police Commissionerates as it had affected their response time in case of emergencies.
More damaging has been the inadequate supply of fuel, forcing the police to depend on ‘other sources’ for running their vehicles.
Presently, vehicles - mostly jeeps or Tata Sumos - used by the police stations are given a monthly quota of of about 150 litres of diesel or 200 litres of petrol, monthly. Average mileage is 10 km per litre for a diesel jeep. With the monthly fixed allotment of 150 litres, the vehicle can travel upto 1,500 km a month.
Here is the crisis. Considering that each vehicle travel for about 150 km to 200 km on an average daily, the allotted monthly diesel quota lasts for 10 to 15 days. “At the month end, some times they give additional fuel of 10 to 30 litres. Otherwise, we’re supposed to find other means,” a police Inspector, unwilling to be quoted said.
It is an open secret on how the fuel requirements for the next part of the month are met. “No police station house officer will spend from their own pocket to foot the fuel bill of the vehicle; instead they depend on “resources within the station jurisdiction”. Yes, it leads to lowering the police image but there is no alternative,” comments a retired police officer.
If the current vehicles are replaced by Innovas, the fuel requirements would only go up as the mileage is not more than 10 km/12 km a litre on an average. Past experiences show that support mechanism for vehicles like dedicated service stations, immediate replacement of spare parts and timely changing of tyres are pre-requisites for longevity of vehicles but the service is inadequate.