Long delayed Police Academy awaits cost sanction

K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: Nearly 11 years after the announcement of the setting up of a Police Academy in Tamil Nadu, the project awaits administrative sanction of the revised cost. Only thereafter can the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation float tenders for constructing the academy, which will have the most modern facilities under one roof.

When the project was announced in 1994, the Government sanctioned Rs. 36 crores. Now the cost has been fixed at Rs. 48 crores. The foundation stone was laid on November 10 last.

The going has not been smooth for the project. Initially, the Government planned to set up the academy at Veerapuram, off Avadi in the western suburbs. But an objection came that it was a catchment area for the Red Hills lake and that the site was also a grazing land. Ultimately, a 132.92-acre site at Oonamancheri, near Vandalur, on the southern outskirts, was selected.

Here again, the locals raised objections saying they had been using the pathways and a waterbody for long. However, the hitch was overcome. Meanwhile, there was a change of government in the State. Later the revised cost came to Rs. 51 crores. About Rs. 19 crores was already sanctioned.

Official sources say the Government is now processing the revised estimate, which has been pruned to Rs. 48 crores.

Soil investigation at the site and a survey of land contour have been done. The building design is ready. A lake at the site will be deepened.

`Most modern'

When completed, the project will be a most-modern training facility. It has been designed to accommodate 800 cadets at a time. It is meant for directly-recruited sub-inspectors. Training will also be imparted to direct recruit Deputy Superintendents.

A four-month induction training will be given to IPS officers. Refresher courses will be organised during the lean periods.

A forensic laboratory, a cyber-crime training unit, a shooting range and a fire service station, which will serve as a fire fighting unit and a training facility for cadets, will be among the facilities for freshers.

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