The Jagatsinghpur Police has conferred ‘antique’ status on vans that have been of service for many years and are now lying defunct, and placed one such vehicle atop the district reserve police building as a souvenir.
It’s an attempt to preserve the age-old jeep as a memorabilia, Superintendent of Police Jai Narayan Pankaj said.
“The district police are now armed with new-generation vehicles for patrolling… The old ones have been rendered useless,” Pankaj said.
The jeep adorned atop the reserve police office is also drawing curious visitors, mostly children, he said.
“There were no takers for these defunct vehicles when he tried auctioning them. We thought it’s proper to preserve them as objects of antiquity,” he said.
Four vehicles were withdrawn from service as they had crossed the 15-year life span limit and covered over 2.40 lakh kilometre in line with the provisions of the Orissa Motor Vehicle Act.
Instead of dumping them in the junkyard, preserving the vehicles was definitely a better idea, said Reserve Police Inspector, Satyakanta Jena.
About Rs 30,000 was spent from the contingency fund to refurbish the vehicle and give it a new look before setting it up on top of the building, he said.
The three other defunct jeeps that have been withdrawn from service will find their place in other police stations of the district, the officer explained.
The jeep installed atop the reserve police building was used in operations in crime-prone Paradip police station area. It had an excellent track record, Jena said.
The officers often preferred this particular jeep over other vehicles for night patrolling or raids as it barely broke down or faced technical glitches, he added.