— Dawn
— Dawn

GUJRAT: Construction of the District police complex has entered the final stage after a lapse of almost 12 years as the Punjab government has released the remaining funds of around Rs30m for the project.

Earlier, the government had allocated a meagre amount of Rs5m in the current fiscal year for the project; however, District Police Officer Umar Salamat launched hectic efforts to get the funds necessary for the project released.

The finishing work has been accelerated by the buildings department and an electricity transformer has been installed whereas the renovation of the front portion as well as erection of the barbed wire on the boundary wall has also been made.

A spokesman for Gujrat Police told Dawn that efforts were being made to inaugurate the police complex by Jan 31 for which the contractor had been asked to complete the finishing stage of the project before that deadline.

The construction of the complex was started in 2007-08 during the PML-Q government but the estimated cost was increased up to Rs83m from the initial Rs51.66m.

After spending the initially released amount of Rs16m, work on the project was stopped by the buildings department in 2009 after which the PML-N government released the second tranche of around Rs32m in 2017. The amount was spent until June 2018 and since then the scheme has been waiting for the issuance of remaining funds for its completion.

Currently, around 20 branches of the DPO office (old building), such as complaint cell, OSI branch, security, traffic, legal, reader and stenographer and others, are working in the rooms having dilapidated conditions.

At least three branches -- overseas help desk, PRO branch and doctors help desk – are functional in a single room and that room had also been constructed with the funding from the overseas community in 2012.

Separate offices of SP (investigation) and SP (headquarters) are also located in the more than four decades old building. In the rain, the old building is submerged by water, leaving no room for the office staff and public to enter the premises.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021

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