The opening of the Koregaon Park police station has again come under a cloud of uncertainty with senior officers from the city police giving out conflicting information regarding its operational readiness. The proposed police station was finally allotted a 10,000 sq ft plot near Lanes 4 and 5 after a year of getting official sanctions and land hunting by authorities. While the construction of the main building is yet to commence, the police station is functioning out of a makeshift 20x50 and 1,000 sq ft shed.
Men at work: Police officers and workers put up the Koregaon Park
police station board atop the makeshift shed. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
While a few officers are confident of the station opening before January 16, the critics say making a police station functional requires quite a lot of time. Asked if the police station would be functional within a week, Deputy Commissioner of Police Raghunath Khaire pointed out that it was absolutely "impractical."
"It is difficult to predict the exact time as establishing a police station requires a host of different sanctions and procuring basic infrastructure. Constructing the main building itself will take time for which we are coordinating with the Public Works Department (PWD)," he said.
Another official requesting anonymity said even for routine functioning like filing of FIRs and complaints, the police require sufficient documentation to come from police commissionerate. "Routine work also involves locking up offenders for a night which needs a separate room. A police station must have the bare minimum infrastructure for routine work," said the official.
But Joint Commissioner of Police Anant Shinde is confident of the station starting by next week. "Work is underway to clear all the grass at the plot and we are also readying the shed from inside. The station will easily start in the coming week," he said. Another official posted at the station said that they had received registers and documents from the Police Commissioner's office, which is sufficient for carrying out routine works.
Yogesh Pingle, a local activist, said that the authorities should try and expedite the station's formal inauguration. "KP is a fully developed suburb and the German Bakery blast warrants a police station here. Both the population and crime are rising simultaneously. A new police station will also take the load of other stations which handle KP," he said.