The robust budgetary allocation of nearly Rs. 4,000 crore for the Home Department that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has proposed appears to have caused excitement in the police force, which has a shortage of 18,000 personnel.
The source of this excitement is the thrust given to three key areas — recruitment, housing and better schooling for children of police personnel. Each one of these initiatives is aimed at the lowest and the most overworked rung of the force — the constabulary.
The budget proposes to recruit 8,500 police constables before the end of this fiscal.
In addition, the budget proposes to take up the construction of 10,000 police residential quarters, which, sources say, will be completed before the end of the next fiscal. This is significant as the State government has been constructing an average of 800 police residential quarters per year for the last 15 years. The sources in the Home Department said that the shortage of police residential quarters will be addressed by 2016. “The police housing and recruitment components of the budget have come as a morale boost,” said ADGP, Law and Order, M.N. Reddy, who also holds additional charge of the Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation.
The third thrust area is schooling for children of police personnel. The government plans to upgrade the police schools at Koramangala in Bangalore and Mysore as well as complete the construction of the Muttanna Memorial School in Dharwad. The Mysore Police Public School will be upgraded to meet the standards of Sainik Schools, the budget promises. Similar police public schools will be set up at the range headquarters of Davangere, Belgaum, Gulbarga and Mangalore. A senior IPS officer said that schooling for police children has been a major concern that had been avoided by previous governments.
Safe City project
The government has proposed to implement the Safe City project of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in Bangalore, Mysore, Belgaum and Hubli-Dharwad with a budgetary support of Rs. 150 crore for this fiscal.