THE CITY’S first and the oldest police station “Chandigarh” dating back to the era of Britishers has started crumbling. Renamed as Traffic Police Station in 1994, the police station on Surajpur Road near the Chandimandir toll plaza, now has the look of a ‘haunted’ building.
Constructed hundreds of years ago, the police station was named ‘Chandigarh’ in 1950 by the then President Dr Rajendra Prasad. The station that would earlier fall in Tehsil Kharar had in its jurisdiction, the area as far as Manimajra and Kharar(in Mohali now). Hari Kailash was the first station house officer.
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Despite having historical significance, the building, which currently houses the staff of Panchkula Crime Investigating Agency (CIA-II), is a shambles. Leaking pipes, broken doors, crust of the walls giving in, loose electricity wires hanging were spotted. Also, the oldest lockups which had been constructed using traditional ways, right at the entrance of the police station are in a dilapidated condition.
“During night hours, these lockups can be quite an unnerving place. One of my colleagues told that an accused had even requested to be shifted from here due to their condition,” said a police officer. The locks are such that the door opens only towards inside.
With cobwebs all around and some part of the ceiling giving in, policemen fear that part of the building may collapse. Inspector Arvind, in-charge CIA II, said as the department doesn’t have sufficient funds to revamp the building, they are getting some whitewashing work done, paying from their own pocket.
The old quarters at the rear side of the police station are also in a similar condition. Due to the fear of the roof giving in, the quarters remain unused.
Police Commissioner OP Singh said the station, being a heritage building should be preserved by archaeologists. “It has such historical significance. It should be preserved,” said Singh.
Many tourists pass by, the road being the Kalka-Shimla Highway. “This site can become a good tourist spot,” addedSingh. Opposite the road is the ancient Chandi mandir (Chandi temple) from where Chandigarh derived its name.