TAMIL NADU

Highways patrol to be reorganised

CHENNAI APRil 9. In a bid to reduce the number of road accidents drastically, the State Government will soon implement a scheme on important highways, under which the highways patrol will be reorganised and integrated with traffic aid posts. This in turn, will be linked to the emergency accident relief centres being set up, with a view to providing immediate aid to mishap victims, the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, announced in the State Assembly today, moving the demands for the police department.

Further, it had been planned to set up "monitoring cells" in the offices of the Director-General of Police and Deputy Inspectors-General of Police for effective supervision. The DIGs and the DGP would review daily the functioning of the highway patrol scheme.

To reduce congestion and accidents and to regulate traffic, four traffic police stations would be opened in 16 places of tourist and religious importance. In the first phase, the facility would be introduced in Kanyakumari, Velankanni, Rameswaram and Kancheepuram at a cost of Rs.1.19 crores.

Opening of 40 more All-Women Police Stations (AWPS) during this year as the final phase of commissioning AWPS, 30 more creches in district headquarters and in Tamil Nadu Women Special Police Battalion at a cost of Rs.47.12 lakhs, construction of buildings for 25 AWPS for Rs. 3 crores, adoption of a special recruitment process for inculcating sports talent of a high order in the force, setting up multi-site video conferencing in police training institutions and increasing tailoring charges for stitching uniforms were among the other announcements made by Ms. Jayalalithaa.

To encourage sports in the police force, a Sports Development Fund of Rs.15 lakhs would be created and sports facilities would be provided in all districts. To promote and foster community policing, a police-public sports meet would be organised and Rs.50,000 would be annually allocated for each district for the purpose.

With regard to policemen's welfare, 3,000 residential quarters would be constructed by the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation at a cost of Rs. 126 crores during 2003-2004. An annual allotment of Rs. 5 crores would be made for carrying out special repairs to police quarters and buildings.

Another announcement, which should bring cheer to a section of the officials, is the proposed amendment of rules to remove the ceiling on age limit for promoting Additional Superintendents of police as Superintendents.