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Prisoners shifted to new jail

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change of scene: Prisoners being taken to the new prison complex at Kalapet on Saturday. —
change of scene: Prisoners being taken to the new prison complex at Kalapet on Saturday. —

Staff Reporter

The complex has modern facilities, including a hospital with 10 beds

PUDUCHERRY: Around 260 inmates of the Central Jail on Jawaharlal Nehru Street were on Saturday shifted to the new prison complex on Mathur Road, Kalapet.

Shortly after shifting the prisoners to the new complex, Inspector-General of Police (in-charge of prisons) S. Vasudeva Rao told reporters that the new prison, which could house around 400 prisoners, had all modern facilities, including a hospital with 10 beds.

A doctor, para-medical staff and an ambulance had been permanently posted there to attend to the medical requirements of the inmates. The Jail Department had entered into an understanding with Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences at Kalapet to deal with emergencies, he said. Besides the department staff, two platoons of the India Reserve Battalion had been posted at the new complex for security. Services of Pondicherry Armed Police personnel would be used to provide security when the prisoners are taken to court and for other places.

Mr. Rao said that they had drawn up a detailed plan to implement prison reforms such as literacy programme, providing opportunity for the inmates to pursue studies, employment opportunity and meditation programme. At present, six prisoners had joined undergraduate courses in distance education mode, he said, adding that 30 illiterate inmates would be enrolled in special classes on reading and writing.

The State Bank of India and HCL, a global technology and IT enterprise, had donated three computers to the jail for providing basic training to the inmates. The Jail Department also planned to use the land available within the complex for vegetable cultivation and to establish a bakery for providing employment opportunity to the prisoners, Mr. Rao said. Services of the Social Welfare Department staff would be utilised for providing counselling to the prisoners.

The territorial administration had sought funds to the tune of Rs. 29 crore, including Rs. 12 crore as reimbursement towards the cost of construction of the complex and Rs. 15 crore for the second phase of the project, Mr. Rao said.

The remaining amount would be used to purchase electronic equipment for establishing video conferencing facility and to put up closed circuit television cameras inside the jail, he said.

On what the department proposed to do with the old jail complex, Mr. Rao said there were several proposals pending with the government, which included construction of a multi-storeyed parking lot.

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