An RTI query asking UT police whether it had complied with recommendations of a December 2014 study titled ‘National Requirement of Manpower for 8 hours in Police Stations’, by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), has returned to haunt the police top brass.
On finding that 68 police personnel had died of stress-related diseases, including heart attack, brain stroke, hypertension etc. between 2011 and 2014, the study had suggested a slew of steps to ensure optimal utilisation of police personnel so they could get adequate rest.
The department has failed to answer the RTI query that seeks to know which officers read the study, and what steps were taken to implement it for the rank and file of Chandigarh police, which has been complaining of staff shortage, resulting in an overworked force.
The RTI query was filed by Head Constable (HC) Jagjeet Singh, who has now filed an appeal against the department for not providing him the required information.
The police department has also failed to respond to the Government of India, which sought to know in December 2018, whether it had taken any steps to implement the recommendations made by the BPRD study. The reply was to be submitted by the office of DGP Sanjay Beniwal. It was sought by Amarjit Singh, under secretary of the Government of India for a question raised in Lok Sabha which was due for an answer on January 1, 2019.
DGP Sanjay Beniwal said, “I just returned from Delhi. I am not in the position to comment on this matter today. I will be able to comment once I check the records tomorrow.”
The 237-page study by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) in collaboration with the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad, had recommended a series of police reforms to alleviate the problems of a stressed and short-staffed work force in khaki. It had suggested various ways in which the police could cover the maximum number of locations with the minimum number of cops. It had also studied the accounted and unaccounted work of police personnel in police stations.
The study recommended use of technology to overcome the problem of staff shortage. It also suggested reforms in roster and patrolling duties whereby it could become possible to give each police personnel an eight-hour shift.
The documents accessed under RTI by HC Jagjeet Singh show that after receiving the communication from the GoI about implementation, police department shot off letters to offices of all the DSPs, but the latter rerurned these, saying, “Matter relates to administration.”