State spent only 38% of police modernisation funds

Mumbai: A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on the general and social sector has criticised the State government for the ‘far-from-satisfactory’ implementation of the central Modernisation of Police Force scheme in Maharashtra. The State spent only 38% of the total funds released under the scheme in the last five years.

The report was presented in the Assembly on Friday.

“The low spending during last five years was mainly due to delays in preparation and submission of Annual Action Plan (AAP) to the central government, causing consequent delays in approval of plans and release of funds,” said the report.

An audit of the scheme’s components revealed a number of deficiencies. “During 2011-16, only 8% of the planned residential and non-residential buildings, which also include police stations, could be constructed or upgraded,” said the report.

The report has also pointed out a shortfall of 1,564 vehicles for the force. “The digital radio trunking system procured at a cost of ₹9.56 crore was not commissioned despite a delay of 39 months, thereby defeating the objective of upgrading the police communication network from the old analogue system to the new encrypted digital system,” it said.

Worse still, the report says there is a shortage of 65,026 modern weapons, constituting 45% of the State’s total requirement. Vital police equipment valuing ₹28.76 crore, such as bullet-proof jackets, night-vision binoculars, bomb disposal suits and portable x-ray machines planned for procurement under the AAPs of 2011-16 (excluding 2014-15) had not been procured as of September 2016.

The functioning of forensic science laboratories was affected by shortage of technical staff, with 34,171 samples (18%) pending investigation as on January 1, 2017. Forensic equipment procured for ₹98.91 lakh remained non-operational since its installation in August 2011, as it showed erratic results and was eventually not found suitable to analyse narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 7:42:35 PM |

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