Gujarat to revise old criteria for sanctioning police force

The sanctioning of police force in Gujarat is still based on criteria devised on the basis of the 1960 Census data.

Ahmedabad: The sanctioning of police force in Gujarat is still based on criteria devised on the basis of the 1960 Census data which is almost redundant now, prompting the state government to revise it.

The state is now trying to devise new standards of sanctioning the police force based on the current demographic scenario, police sources said.

"First time the scheme of sanctioning police force in the state was devised at the time of creation of our state and it definitely needs revision, no doubt about it. We are in the process of revision of the criteria for the sanctioning of police force," state Director General of Police (DGP) Amitabh Pathak said.

"Though, out of the sanctioned strength of 92,545, many positions are not filled, we are consistently filling the posts," Pathak said.

The state DGP`s office, in reply to an RTI query, has revealed that at present the sanctioned strength of total police force in the state is 92,545, including civil and district armed police.

"Existing numbers of sanctioned police force are based on the census data of 1960," it further replied.

"The criteria for the sanctioning is years old, process of setting up new criteria is in progress," the DGP office said in reply to the RTI query, sought by Mumbai-based NGO Kutch Ladayak Manch president Ramesh Joshi.

The government has also conceded that the current police force sanctioned is `very low`, as compared to the state population of more than six crore.

"Though existing total sanctioned police force is very low in view of the current standards, the government is increasing it every year," it said.

In his application under RTI, Joshi had sought details of the existing sanctioned and actual strength of the police force, district-wise break-up on both these aspects and on what criteria the police force number was being sanctioned in the state.

However, in its replies, dated July 19 and August 7, 2013, the DGP office did not furnish the actual strength of the police force in the state.

As per the data compiled by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), headed by Director General Kuldeep N Sharma, the actual strength of total state police force, as on January 1, 2012, including district and state armed police, was 57,889 as against sanctioned strength of 1,03,545.

Interestingly, as per BPRD data, in Gujarat on an average one police constable has been assigned the responsibility of as many as 571 people and he has to cover 1.89 square kms of the area during his duty.

Nationally, as per the same data, a minimum of 568 people are looked after by one constable and he covers 2 sq kms of the area.