The Mumbai Police will introduce an e-awas system beginning next month to introduce transparency in the allotment of houses for the 55,000-strong force. The system is based on the model operated by the central government to allot houses to employees of all ranks and payscales across the country.
At an interaction with The Indian Express on Monday, Mumbai Police Commissioner Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said that the system would reduce the time that police personnel have to wait out to receive government accommodation in the city.
The Mumbai Police currently has 24,000 houses for the constabulary and officers at 71 locations spread across the city, including its headquarters at Worli, Naigaum and Marol. “We are in the process of identifying the software. The survey of all police housing is being carried out. Once that is over, and the glitches in the programme are taken away, we are going to implement it from the first week of November. That will clearly tell every constable what is his waiting list position, where does he stand in terms of a house. This will also eliminate accusations of favouritism,” he said.
Jaiswal added that surveys to identify vacant houses at 20 locations have been completed. Every month, a certain number of houses become vacant as their occupants retire.
Under the system, which is modelled on that operated by the Directorate of Estates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, police personnel will be able to bid for vacant houses at locations of their choosing. Jaiswal said that the list of vacant houses would be released in the first week of every month and that police personnel would be allowed to apply for them until the 10th. By the month end, he said, policemen and women would be informed whether or not their bids are successful.
As with the central government’s system, police personnel will be able to bid for multiple homes. “So that even if someone doesn’t get a house at Crawford Market, he could still get one in Marine Lines,” he said.
The allocations will be separate for the constabulary and officers as different types and house sizes have been built for both ranks. Jaiswal added that this would ensure that there are no complaints from personnel of different ranks losing out homes to one another. The system will also include a discretion of 5-10 per cent for out-of-turn allotments on the basis of medical or other grounds.
Jaiswal, however, said that it would not be possible to ensure that every police personnel immediately gets a house. “Hundred per cent satisfaction level is impossible to get, at least in the near future. But what we can do is that we can reach a situation where we are able to satisfy a substantive number. I think we are going there very fast,” he said.
He said that negotiations are under way with the state government to redevelop police quarters which are in a dilapidated condition and to construct buildings on police plots which are currently encroached upon. A survey, he said, has been conducted to identify plots with encroachments.
“The government is very forthcoming in coming up with schemes where new housing stock is going to come into existence within a couple of years. We have got police lines in a number of places. There has to be a significant increase in numbers,” he said.
Construction, Jaiswal said, would be carried out by the Maharashtra Police Housing Corporation. “We have got 4 FSI and more houses should be built within the next year and half,” he said.