In an official communique,the superintendent of Surat Central Jail requests his counterpart in Vadodara to delay the transfer of 200 convicts to the newly-built prison in Surat. The reason: lack of cooking utensils.
A copy of the letter,which was also sent to IG (Prisons) P C Thakor,goes on to describe how the jail,inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi on March 25,2012,is currently using vessels borrowed from the nearby Swaminaryan temple since the ones in their possession are leaking.
The state government had spent Rs 80 crore for building a new central jail on 50 acres at Lajpore in Surat. This jail is well equipped with facilities like CCTV cameras,scanner machines,a hospital having a blood bank,mobile jammers,X-Ray rooms and playgrounds.
While shifting,the jail authorities took the old utensils and crockery items with them to the newly built premises. But the accessories from the old kitchen could serve only 1,100 inmates who were transferred from the old jail located in Surat city to the new one that has a capacity to house 3,000 prisoners.
Once the Surat Central Jail was inaugurated,the first batch of 200 prisoners from Vadodara Central Jail were sent there on April 14 and 15,2012. However,the authorities raised the issue of vessel and crockery shortage when the transfer of a second batch of 200 prisoners was being planned from Vadodara.
We will be able to purchase the necessary cooking items only after getting a green signal from higher authorities. It is only then we can inform Vadodara jail authorities to send the remaining lot of 200 prisoners. At present,we have only one large cooking vessel,which has several holes on its surface, said Surat Central Jail superintendent N A Desai.
The jail authorities in Surat have also floated tenders for the required utensils. So far,three parties have shown interest in the tender. Their quotation for the list of crockery and utensils items needed by the prison was sent to IG (Prisons) on May 8 for his final approval.