Flush with funds, Delhi Police can now face the future

Delhi Police will have no reason to not implement modernisation projects this fiscal, including procuring urgently needed bulletproof jackets. The force has been allocated Rs 5,910.28 crore in the Union Budget this fiscal, Rs 252 crore more than what it got last year. In addition, women’s safety has been given a fillip with the Nirbhaya fund shooting up almost nine times from the Rs 3.4 crore last year to Rs 28.9 crore, while allocation for police infrastructure has gone up to Rs 439 crore from Rs 252.5 crore last year.

The increased Nirbhaya fund will help the cops execute their plans for mobile forensic labs, increased number of helpline centres and an improved mobile app with advanced safety features to enable reaching women in distress at the earliest.

Capital expenditure for procurement of new infrastructure, including the installation of CCTV cameras and improving traffic management, too got a boost of Rs 21.74 crore from Rs 133.21crore last year. With the additional funds in hand, Delhi Police is expected to substantially boost the number of security cameras in the capital as well as the setting up of modern traffic signals and procurement of riot-control equipment. Delhi Police had not been able to fully spend the funds allocated in 2015-16. It had, for instance, run up a bill of Rs 3.56 crore against the Rs 8 crore provided for installation of signals and blinkers. Similarly, the force utilised only Rs 3.45 crore of the Rs 7 crore earmarked for development of a communication network and a model traffic system.

Important initiatives such as the citywide surveillance system and the intelligent traffic management system, pending for some years, saw only partial development last year. Things could change this financial year. Not only are an intelligent traffic system, open-source intelligence system and a modernised cyber-crime cell possibilities, but the law keepers could also procure 2,450 bulletproof jackets, estimated to cost upward of Rs 20 crore.