Police are my family, can't leave them alone, says home minister Anil Deshmukh

Updated: May 21, 2020, 14:09 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Allaying concerns of cops, Anil Deshmukh assures govt will ensure their wellbeing

State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh

State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday has assured that the government will do everything in its power to ensure the well-being of police personnel in Mumbai and the rest of the state at such a time. Deshmukh told mid-day, "I'm the head of the police family and have visited hotspots in 18 districts, including Mumbai, to interact with personnel on duty. I cannot leave my family alone."

Lamenting the unfortunate deaths of the staff and officers, he said that as a precautionary measure, all the personnel above 55 years of age have been asked to go on paid leave and families with quarantined personnel are being supplied all essentials free of cost.

He said the deployment of paramilitary forces in hotspots would offer the state police much-needed rest before they set out again to manage festivals in the post-lockdown period.

The 70-year-old minister said that his age did not deter him from venturing out because even the IPS and state service officers in high-risk age groups have been doing their duty at the frontline.

Safety measures
Sanitisers worth Rs 51 lakh, food worth R82 lakh, masks (all types) worth Rs 52 lakh, safety gear like face shields, surgical hand gloves, flasks, rain suit, water dispensing machines, 1,400 PPEs worth Rs 86 lakh, mineral water worth Rs 15 lakh, pulse oximeters worth R4 lakh and smartwatches worth Rs 40 lakh have been made available by the government, social organisations and pharma companies to the police.

Staffers have been given 10 masks each, along with free of cost transportation, meals, boarding (50 rooms), energy drinks and ORS. Police vehicles are sanitised twice daily.

Helpline, fever clinic, care centre
A dedicated COVID helpline has been set up for hospitalisation, dedicated to the police personnel. The financial grant of Rs 20 lakh was approved last week for the Care Centre at Marol.

The police housing department and BMC will build it in association with sponsors. As many as 500 COVID-19 beds are exclusively available to the police personnel at two city hospitals. Preventive medicine, vitamins, body supplements worth Rs 10 crore have been distributed.

Deshmukh said that this had definitely helped in boosting the mental and physical health of the police personnel. The hospitals on the police panel are treating the infected personnel free of cost.

Police welfare fund
About Rs 1.30 crore has been allotted between March and May by the Police Welfare Fund for buying equipment and essentials. Rs 2 crore aid was given to the police personnel deputed on the frontline. Another Rs 1.28 crore would be distributed soon. Around 33 infected personnel were given an advance of Rs 1 lakh each for daily medical expenses.

Rewards, compensation
The 496 personnel who recovered from the infection and resumed duties were given a cash reward of Rs 10,000 each from the welfare fund. This has upped the morale of the police force, stated Deshmukh. The families of COVID-19 victims would get compensation of Rs 1.5 crore each. The Mumbai Police Foundation has given three affected families Rs 10 lakh each.

Quarantine camp office
A quarantine camp office has been set up for COVID-affected staffers' families. The families get updates as and when required and they are also being given ration at no charge.

Rs 1.30cr
Amount allotted by Police Welfare Fund for buying equipment and essentials

No. of COVID-19 beds exclusively available to police personnel at two city hospitals

1,500 Mantralaya staffers told to share work with city police on the field

The state government has roped in the services of 1,500 Mantralaya officers and employees to share work with the Mumbai police. The officers of the rank of Under Secretary and assistants who are under 40 years have been ordered to join the Mumbai police personnel. Escaping the field duty would invite disciplinary action. By Wednesday, 1,421 Mantralaya cadre staff had been sent to assigned police stations where the commanding officers would allot them appropriate work. A three-member team of home principal secretary (special) Amitabh Gupta, Mumbai police joint commissioner (law and order) Vinoy Choubey and deputy secretary (general administration) Rahul Kulkarni have been tasked with making additional civil employee force to the city police.

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