Civic agency may get dedicated police force (To go with Delhi’s new mayor wants to shift garbage dumps underground)

April 30th, 2009 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has asked the Delhi Police for a dedicated cadre of 150 policemen to help tackle the city’s civic offenders like those responsible for letting loose stray cattle or leaving rubble and garbage piles on roads.
MCD commissioner K.S. Mehra had sent a proposal to Delhi Police in January to start a special cadre to work as ‘civic police’ similar to the existing traffic police cadre.

Though the policemen will not be a part of the MCD, they will work in coordination with MCD’s 13 enforcement officers. The proposal, Mehra said, “has already reached advanced stages”.

Delhi’s newly elected mayor Kanwar Sain is also in talks with Delhi Police for roping in the Delhi Police officers to report to the MCD control rooms when they spot garbage “lying around”.

Although unaware of the proposal for a special cadre of police, the mayor said that such a group could work well to keep the city clean as well.

“Yes, it is a great idea! These officers can take offenders to task and enforce the laws with legal authority,” Sain told IANS.

Stressing the need for a dedicated force, Commissioner Mehra said: “Often our officials face stiff resistance and offenders don’t cooperate. Like if there is a case of stray cattle, the owners chase and attack our people with sticks.”

Unlike the police, MCD officials do not have legal powers to deal with such cases.

“Most of the time police are unable to depute their personnel on time; either they are short-staffed or are busy dealing with other important cases. For police, the priority is VIP security, crime, patrolling and then, if time allows, civic offenders,” Mehra added.

“Even now to carry out a raid or anything we need to put in a request two days before. Once the new police force is approved, we need to just notify the police half an hour in advance,” the official added.

Mehra is hopeful that the proposal will go through after the general elections.

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