Saturday, September 18, 2004

Corporates pitch in to do-up police stations

Swanky police stations coming up in city
The Hindu

BANGALORE, SEPT. 17. Over the next few months, if you walk into one of these buildings, it may be difficult to believe you are actually in a police station. Airy and spacious reception areas with comfortable chairs and attentive personnel who look into your complaints or enquiries will greet you.

"At least 60 of the 88 police stations in Bangalore have outgrown their existing buildings, constructed 40 or more years ago. Originally they were meant for eight or ten personnel and now they have 70 or more,'' said the city Police Commissioner, S. Mariswamy.

Rented buildings

Some police stations were too small and others were in rented buildings. Over a year ago, some corporates were approached for help in building new police stations. "The idea was they would look after the construction and hand over the buildings to us with no money transactions involved," Mr. Mariswamy said. Meanwhile, the Government also began constructing new police stations as in Jeevanbima Nagar and in Frazer Town, and the NRI brothers of the Colaco family have funded a new building.

Companies' support

In Kengeri, Toyota Kirloskar is building the new police station. Others are being sponsored by TCS (at Upparpet), Infosys (Basavanagudi), Wipro (Koramangala), iflex (Indiranagar), Sasken (Ulsoor), Canara Bank (Ulsoor Gate), State Bank of Mysore (Vyalikaval).

"Work in going on for eight police station buildings now with 20 more to be taken up soon.

At Banaswadi, there is no single sponsor but the local residents and traders are pooling their resources. Some of the buildings may cost up to Rs. 50 lakh and some less, depending on the space needed," the Police Commissioner said.

Special needs

While taking care to have spacious and people-friendly reception areas, the rest of the interiors are designed for the special needs of the police. For the first time, the constables will have a place to sit and review their work; this space will also serve as a meeting hall. The officers will have desks not in closed cubicles but at separate workstations, not different from those in corporate offices.

"There will be separate secure areas for storing records and seized articles. There will be rest rooms for the police and separate rooms for visitors. "The `kit boxes' we are sentimentally attached to will not be strewn around; there will be labelled, individual lockers and room for the personnel to change in and out of uniforms," Mr. Mariswamy said.

Heritage sites

Wherever the old police station is in a heritage building, the original architecture and facades will be retained, following the trend of renovated police stations of Cubbon Park and Commercial Street. With the public themselves involved in the construction of the new police stations, the police force expect better rapport between them.


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