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Maharashtra, UP among states that lag in spending money to modernise police force

Thursday, 22 May 2014 - 6:40am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Many states, it appears, are not utilising the funds that they receive every year from the Centre to upgrade their police force and the related infrastructure. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are among the worst when it comes to upgrading the forces.

Policemen across the country are dissatisfied with the state of infrastructure they have been provided with. A fund for modernisation of police forces (MPF) has often been termed as the remedy that will bring down crime in the country. Yet majority of the states haven't spent even half the amount sanctioned to them by the Union government for the modernisation of police forces (MPF). Every year, the Union home ministry releases large amounts of money to states for MPF. If unspent, the remainder of this fund has to be returned to the ministry.

According to information obtained from the Parliament Standing Committee on Home Affairs, some states, including West Bengal, has yet to spent a single rupee from the MPF corpus. The state received Rs 90 crore from 2010 to 2012 but has not bothered to use the money.

Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh too have been reluctant in upgrading their respective police infrastructure. Maharashtra spent Rs 35 crore out of Rs 42 crore sanctioned to it in 2010-2011 and in 2011-2012, it spent Rs 32 crore of the Rs 65 crore released to it by the Centre.

Uttar Pradesh, the state with the highest crime rate in the country, spent just Rs 23 crore out of the Rs 61 crore sanctioned to it.

On the other hand, Gujarat and Nagaland spent 100 per cent of the money released by the Centre for the upgradation. Gujarat spent Rs 88 crore in the two years from 2010 to 2012. Nagaland too spent all the money it got in the same period — Rs 63 crore.

The maximum amount of money under MPF — Rs 260 crore from 2010-2012 — went to Jammu and Kashmir. The state utilised Rs 231 crore of this amount. The ministry sanctioned the least amount for Sikkim; the state received Rs 7.19 crore from 2010-2012 and spent Rs 3.34 crore.

"Constables live in pathetic conditions. These police colonies don't have roads, sewage or other basic infrastructure in place," said a senior Delhi police official on condition of anonymity. "The department hardly spends on upgradation of these basics. The state of police stations isn't great either. Majority of don't even have a canteen where staff can eat two meals."

MPF funds are sanctioned under two categories — plan and non-plan items; the plan item includes outlays for construction and upgradation of police stations, outposts, police lines, housing, forensic and training infrastructure. During the 12th five-year plan (2012-17), the ministry will release Rs 3,750 crore under the plan category. For upgradation to modern weapons, vehicles, training equipment, security-related equipment, forensic equipment etc, which fall in the non-plan items, Rs 8,196 crore will be sanctioned.

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