85 fortified police stations to come up in Maoist-hit areas of Bihar

PATNA: The Union home ministry has okayed construction of 85 anti-Naxalite police stations in Bihar. This is the largest number of such police stations okayed by the Centre for any state.

Giving this information to TOI on Thursday, DG Ashok Kumar Gupta — who is also CMD of Bihar Police Building Construction Corporation (BPBCC) – said the Union home ministry had okayed construction of 400 anti-Naxalite police stations (fortified police stations) in nine Maoist-affected states. “We had sought 100 such police stations. The Centre has given approval for 85. With this, Bihar has got approval for the largest number of such police stations,” Gupta said. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are among the other states which would have the anti-Naxalite police stations. Funds for setting up these police stations have also been allotted by the Centre, Gupta added.

A total of 30 out of 40 districts (two police districts) in Bihar are Naxalite-hit.

According to Gupta, construction of the anti-Naxalite police stations would be completed within two years from now.

Gupta said the BPBCC has been entrusted to execute the project. “The houses will be sturdy enough to withstand Naxalite attacks. These will provide our forces not only emotional and mental support but also keep them on a stronger footing vis-a-vis the Maoists,” he said.

Each of these fortified police stations having watch towers on roof-tops and sentry posts on its campus would cost Rs 2 crore. While the Centre would provide Rs 160 lakh, the remaining amount (Rs 40 lakh) would be borne by the state government. While the Centre has allotted an amount of Rs 136 crore for the project in Bihar, the state government would spend a total of Rs 34 crore for setting up these special police stations.

Gupta said the BPBCC would float tenders for the construction of these fortified police stations within a week. “We have to complete the project within two years. It will work as armor for our forces and reduce their vulnerability to Maoist attacks,” he said.

A four-member committee constituted by the Union home ministry on the project also included BPBCC former chief engineer Dukhi Sah. It was after several rounds of discussions in Hyderabad on September 22, 2010 that the final decision to set up these fortified police stations in Maoist-affected states was taken.

These police stations will be equipped with generator, inverter and solar cells to ensure 24-hour power supply. These police stations will boast of modern communication systems, furniture and necessary consumer durables, said a senior BPBCC official.

Pointing out that no additional land is being purchased for the construction of these police stations, Gupta said, “These (fortied police stations) will be made on the existing police stations which are spread in areas ranging between 1 and 1.5 acres of land. As the buildings will be situated inside the protected campus, police vehicles and other properties will now remain relatively safer,” Gupta said.

As many as 374 police stations in Bihar are located in Maoist-affected areas. Of these 347 are in rural areas and the remaining 27 are in urban areas. A total of 20 police stations are classified as “Category-A” (critical).

A senior BPBCC official said work on 48 anti-Naxalite police stations have already been taken up in the state so far. “While four of them have already been completed, the remaining 44 will be completed within the next six months,” the official said.

In the past three years the BPBCC handed over a total of 74 police stations (25 model, various grades) to the state government, the official said adding that work is going on a dozen more police stations.

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