The Uttar Pradesh Police has been functioning with “less than 50 per cent of the sanctioned manpower”, “obsolete weapons” and “outdated communication technologies”, the Comptroller and Auditor General has said. The CAG report titled ‘Performance Audit of Modernisation and Strengthening of Police Forces’ also said that forensic science labs in the state were ill-equipped to handle increasing number of requests for examination of samples for investigation.
The report pointed out “the state still has only about 50 per cent of the police stations against the required number” and there is “an acute shortage of residential and other than residential accommodation for police personnel”, while projects are “inordinately delayed by construction agencies”.
“Mobility of the police force for patrolling and other purposes is severely constrained due to the acute shortage of vehicles and obsolescence of its fleet,” it said. The top auditor also noted that the traffic police has few officers and lacks equipment to monitor and control rapidly growing traffic and increasing length of road networks.
Besides, the central auditor has pointed out “severe capacity constraints” plaguing the police training establishment that “lacks modern infrastructure to impart state-of-the-art training”. The report for the year ended March 31, 2016, was recently tabled in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. Statistics mentioned in the report paint a grim picture of modernisation of the state police force. It said “48 per cent of the police force” use .303 rifles, which have been “declared obsolete by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) more than 20 years ago”.
The report stated shortage of more than five lakh “9 mm ball ammunition”, used in automatic pistols and carbines and said it was “having an impact on training and providing security to VIPs”.
The situation appears to have been made worse as the Centre and the state governments had failed to release their due share for the modernisation scheme during 2006-11. The Centre released “Rs 496.84 crore (70 per cent)” during the period, of its due share, as against “Rs 162.20 crore (38 per cent)” allocated by the state, the audit report said.
However, the actual share to be released by the respective governments was not mentioned in the report.