AMONG THE 11 components of the salary of a Mumbai police officer is a ‘washing allowance’. Personnel from the non-IPS cadre of the city’s police force say the Rs 100 per month allowance is to ensure their uniforms are washed and clean for duty.
“If one sends the uniform to a laundry, we will not be able to wash it more than two-three times a month,” says an officer.
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Ask them about the other components, including a Special Duty Allowance, which is a meagre Rs 20, and most are clueless about what it is for. “I have heard that earlier, police officers would get a stipulated amount for shaving. The amount was Rs 5 then, only enough to buy a blade. The constabulary was expected to buy the blade and go to the barber hired for police residential quarters, who would shave them,” said another official.
The authenticity of the claim remains unverified, even as another officer who has been in the force for more than three decades says that the Rs 20 is probably for polishing shoes.
Many continue to remain unsure about the particulars from their salary slips, while lamenting the limited amount they receive as ‘refreshment allowance’, which is Rs 700, and ‘transit allowance’, which is Rs 400. The other components include a Licence Fee as maintenance for those not living in police quarters and a dearness allowance.
“The salary of the non-IPS personnel was paltry earlier. Now, with an increase, it seems sufficient to lead a comfortable life, but not quite enough in a city like Mumbai,” said another officer. Currently, police personnel from Greater Mumbai are paid according to the Sixth Pay Commission. The state had recently announced that it would not be able to implement the Seventh Pay Commission for its employees for another two years.