The Maharashtra Police faces a shortage of 5,797 vehicles and 65,026 modern weapons required for undertaking policing duties. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in its report tabled in the Maharashtra Assembly on Friday has pointed out the lack of resources and infrastructure faced by the police force in the state.
According to the Annual Action Plan of Maharashtra, the requirement of vehicles as per the government’s own norms stands at 21,765 vehicles. The CAG report has pointed out a 34.22 per cent shortfall, with the force having only 14,317 vehicles. The biggest shortfall is of motorcycles, with the force having 5,967 of the 11,764 required. The shortfall in medium vehicles is also high, with the state having 1,926 of the 3,778 needed.
The CAG report states that between 2011-16, the state gave administrative approval to procure 2,226 vehicles at an estimated cost of Rs 109.38 crore. It could, however, procure only 662 vehicles till September 2016 at a cost of Rs 33.49 cr. More drivers are needed too. In nine test-checked districts that had a cumulative 5,955 vehicles, there were only 5,174 drivers, as against the requirement of 8,933. Further, of the 5,174 drivers, nearly 57 were diverted from active policing to driving duties.The report also pointed out a shortage in weapons, stating that as of March 2015, only 81,482 modern weapons were available with the police as against the requirement of 1,46,508.
It also highlighted the slow supply of these weapons from the Ordnance Factory Board. Of the total orders of 4,420 modern weapons placed between 2010 till 2016, only 2,586 were supplied. The report said a significant stock of weapons was being held in district armories, without being distributed to the police personnel.
A study of nine districts by the CAG stated that the districts had a shortfall of 39,311 weapons and had nearly 20,240 weapons lying in their armories. Also, many officials were not trained in firing these weapons. A study of nine districts by the CAG showed a 60 to 71 per cent shortfall in the total number of personal who were drafted for training and the actual number of participants in these firing exercises.
Police officers have blamed this mismatch on the shortage of ammunition and non-availability of firing ranges to train personal.The report also points out that between 2011-16, the government spent only Rs 19.51 crore of the Rs 44.66 crore released for purchase of communications systems. “In order to plug any gaps in the preparedness of the police forces to deal with unexpected security situation, the state government may speed up the procurement of police equipment initially planned for,” the CAG report says.