A new police commissionerate from Mira Road to Virar, comprising 20 police stations, is likely to become functional in the next few months.
While a proposal in this connection had been tabled three years ago, sources said that during the Monsoon session of the state legislature, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured legislators in the Mira Road-Virar belt that the commissionerate will be functional before the upcoming state elections, slated to be held later this year. The MBVV (Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar) commissionerate is likely to be inaugurated on Independence Day, an official from the Home department told The Indian Express.
With the MBVV commissionerate likely to be headed by an Additional Director General (ADG) rank officer, sources said, several IPS officers have also thrown their hats in the ring for the post.
More executive powers for police in commissionerate
In a ‘district’ headed by a Superintendent of Police (SP), like the one Mira Road-Bhayandar falls under, the executive powers do not rest with the SP and they have to take permission from the Collector. For example, if a person creating menace in an area over a period of time, he can be externed from the city’s limit by the police in a commissionerate. In a district, however, the SP has to consult the Collector, who may or may not agree with the view of the SP. Commissionerates were set up by the British in pre-independence India so that police officers could handle dynamic situations that could threaten to go out of control without having to seek permission from anyone else.
According to sources the push to get the commissionerate functional came during the Monsoon session when some legislators told the CM about a delay in the proposal. “The commissionerate had been promised several times in the past. It was felt that the promise had be fulfilled before the elections,” a source
Currently, the Mira Bhayandar stretch falls under the jurisdiction of Thane (rural) district police and Vasai-Virar falls under Palghar district police. A district police, headed by a Superintendent of Police, is usually used for policing in areas where the population and rate of crime is relatively less. “Over the past few years, with stringent policing in the adjoining Mumbai and Thane police commissionerates, a higher number of crimes were reported in this (MBVV) belt. Hence, there was a need felt to convert this into a commissionerate,” an official said.
As compared to districts, a commissionerate is allotted better manpower and infrastructure in the form of police vehicles and other policing tools. An official said that the MBVV commissionerate will have 20 police stations that will be divided into three zones. “Of the 20 police stations, five police stations falling under Thane (rural) will be moved to the commissionerate, while Palghar police will let go jurisdictions of eight police stations. Seven new police stations will be created,” an official said.
As of now there are likely to be 13 ACP-rank officers, three DCP-rank officers, one DIG-rank officer, while the commissioner heading the force will be an ADG-rank officer.
Sources said that the race among IPS officers had begun for the top post. “Even the Thane and Navi Mumbai police units are headed by ADG rank officers. The post of MBVV commissioner is seen as a favourable posting,” an official said.
State police sources said that the new commissionerate would require a manpower of 4,000. “While drafting our proposal, we conducted a study of populations density to identify areas which are under-policed. Manpower will diverted according to the needs of specific areas,” a senior police official said. The Thane Rural police conducted a study in Mira-Bhayander and the Palghar district police studied the towns of Vasai and Virar. In the Mira-Bhayander, the police has identified the Golden Nest residential complex as needing a dedicated police station. The existing Kashimira police station will also be bifurcated.
Currently, both Thane Rural and Palghar districts employ between 2,100 and 2,200 personnel. “Manpower for new commissionerate will be diverted from existing forces of both districts and through fresh recruitment,” the official added.
Officials posted in both districts – Palghar and Thane (rural) – said that the move would relieve an overstretched police force