State home minister RR Patil yesterday lashed out at opposition parties for protesting against potholes in the city instead of making sure they are filled. Patil spoke about it at an award ceremony, which was held by a city-based organisation to recognise the outstanding contribution made by women in various fields.
Patil said that he had heard that some political parties planted trees in potholes while others were conducting surveys. “They should have helped fill those trenches instead of wasting their time surveying or planting trees,” said Patil.
“Political leaders do nothing better than protest over issues every time. They think protest is the only solution for problems. There is nothing wrong in protesting, as it is how democracy functions. However, protest should be meaningful otherwise it just wastes the time of police, who give protection to these people,” Patil said. Patil also touched upon what his ministry is doing to provide houses to police personnel, curb stunt biking and chain snatching incidents in the city.
Following the tragic death of a young man who was riding pillion behind a stunt biker recently in Delhi, he said that the state home ministry is trying to secure road transport across the state. “The ratio of injured has been increasing due to stunt bikers, and this must stop,” Patil said.
Speaking about chain snatching incidents, he said, “In the case of Pune, it’s difficult to identify chain snatchers because most of them come from outside the state. That’s the reason a high level meeting was held recently and it was decided to use the Nashik model of police patrolling.”
Home for cops
The home minister accepted that the issue of houses for policemen has been ignored for a long time now. He said that a three-member committee has been set up which would give its report in the next fifteen days on what could be done to give houses to policemen. “There is a lack of funds, however, we are using available plots to raise funds. We may also take a loan from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO) to make lands available to build the houses,” added Patil. He said that he would allot houses of 350 square feet in Mumbai, while in other cities houses of 180 square feet would be allotted. He also said that he has directed the city police to probe into the case of a seven-year-old girl found dead at Yerawada orphanage on Friday morning.