The Punjab Government proposes to spend about Rs. 100 crore in the initial phase of its ambitious programme of “completely revamping and modernising” its police force to meet the growing challenges on the security and crime fronts.

This was disclosed by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal while interacting with media persons on the sidelines of the passing-out parade of the sixth batch of private security guards at the Punjab Security Training Institute here on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur city on Friday.

Mr. Badal, who also holds the Home portfolio, said that selection of modern weaponry and latest gadgets required to deal with any security situation, crime prevention and detection, administration and training had reached the final stages.

“By the middle of next year, the Punjab police would be more efficient and better equipped to deal with any situation.”

Top executives of renowned national and international private security agencies witnessed the parade and inspected the training facilities at the Institute.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Badal said that keeping in view the growth in the industrial and service sectors, at least 50 lakh security guards would be required to ease the burden of the police force, which was already stressed due to new challenges in the post-Mumbai 26/11 scenario. He projected the demand for private security guards to increase by 25 per cent for the next decade, which would provide a major employment avenue.

Mr. Badal said that the Government was committed to upgrading the facilities at this institute in Jahan Khelan to increase the annual training capacity to 10,000 by the end of 2010 and 15,000 by 2011.

It also proposes to set up another institute to impart training for specialised courses for security managers, armed guards, private commandos and women guards.

Later Mr. Badal inaugurated the newly constructed complex of the Punjab Security Training Institute consisting of eight new buildings.