Nearly two decades ago, it was proposed. A decade ago, it was sanctioned. Its jurisdiction was carved out and police personnel were assigned to it. But even today, the Erla police station, planned to ease the burdens of the nearby Juhu and Santacruz stations, is nowhere in sight.
A senior IPS officer said high rent in the western suburbs has been one of the biggest impediments in setting up the police station. The department had earlier managed to fix a location at LIC colony in Santacruz, but they were turned away by local residents.
“After I got posted, I learnt that people at LIC colony had resisted the placement of a police station in their area, due to which that plan was called off,” said senior inspector Shriram Koregoankar of Santacruz police station.
The police department had in 2015 deputed around 15 police officers and 29 constabulary-rank policemen to Erla police station. They were then equally divided between Santacruz and Juhu police station.
The proposal for the station was made in 2000, when the then Deputy Commissioner of Police, West Region, had sent an application to higher officials seeking an additional police station. With the Santacruz police’s jurisdiction of 6.5 km containing a 4.5-lakh population and Juhu police station with an approximately 6.5-lakh population in 3.5 km, he said the formation of Erla police station was necessary.
“Along with the letter, the DCP had also attached a list of crimes taking place in their jurisdiction. He said, in order to stop the increasing crime, an additional police station is necessary,” said a source.
The letter was forwarded to the home department, and the proposal was sanctioned in 2009. In the government resolution released later that year, the home department decided to increase the strength of the Mumbai Police department by 3,000, with which they also sanctioned the proposal of Erla police station.
The jurisdiction of three — Santacruz, Juhu and Erla — police stations were decided, which was again approved by the home department in a notification carried on February 18, 2012, but their long battle to have a legitimate location for Erla police station is still ongoing.
An officer on the condition of anonymity said, “I was appointed as in-charge of Erla police station but with no legitimate location to sit, I was made an unusual fifth police inspector at Santacruz police station.”
Joint Commissioner of Police Santosh Rastogi (admin) confirmed that police personnel have been deputed for the Erla jurisdiction and said, “The police station hasn’t been in operation due to some reason which I need to check.”