It’s not easy to pack your bags and your memories and walk out of the place that you’ve called home for nearly four decades.
The police department has asked several of its constables and their families staying at the quarters behind the police head office at Crawford Market to do just that.
On Wednesday morning, joint commissioner of police (administration) Hemant Nagrale chaired a meeting, during which he asked the families to shift to new quarters and vacate the existing ones.
A police constable, who did not wish to be identified, said, “We have been staying here (in the old quarters) for four decades and suddenly we have been asked to move to a new place, which is just not acceptable to us. It is being said that this building will be demolished and go for redevelopment.”
Another constable added, “We are presently staying in accommodations, each around 220 sq ft in size. The department wants us to shift to 180-sq ft homes and the buildings are not that good either. Our quarters are much better.”
Interestingly, so far the department has not stipulated a time period in which the switch is to be made. “Our children are already going to schools in the vicinity and they are in the middle of their academic terms. Also, the present accommodation is close to markets and hospitals. This is a prime location and we do not want to move out. Moreover, our building is not in a poor state, as claimed by department officials,” said a constable attached to Azad maidan police station, who stays in the quarters.
The ground plus three-storey building accommodates approximately 120 families, and some have been living here for decades.
Another generation from many of these families has joined the police force only to retain the houses, explained a cop’s wife.
While attempts made to contact joint CP Hemant Nagrale did not yield any results, deputy commissioner of police (HQ-1) Shardha Raut said, “Since these buildings are in dilapidated condition, the police families has been asked to shift to other quarters. Efforts are being made to ensure that they get accommodated in and around their existing homes to avoid any inconvenience.”
The number of police families that reside in the building adjacent to police HQs