To get funding for police welfare activities ‘in a non-controversial manner’, the Thane police will set up four petrol pumps in the district over the next few months. Police-owned petrol pumps have been operated in districts such as Solapur and Amravati in the past, but this is a first in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
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Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh proposed the move, last year, and it was approved by Maharashtra DGP, in December. Following this, the police approached Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and asked them to scout for places on police land where these petrol pumps could be set up, said a senior police officer. Four places were selected — Saket ground near Thane police headquarters, Shilfata junction, behind Ambernath police station, and Rajnoli Naka in Bhiwandi.
An officer said HPCL would help them set up the infrastructure. The proceeds from the petrol pumps will go towards the police welfare fund. The police welfare fund is used to help police officers in need of financial aid or to help their wives or children if they meet with a mishap.
The petrol pumps will be manned by retired policemen or youngsters who miss out on getting police jobs due to “technical problems”. The police are hoping to earn at least Rs 1.5 lakh per month from the petrol pumps.
“The school started for children of policemen in Thane has been doing pretty well. We are hoping that the petrol pumps will help us with police welfare activities,” said Singh.