PTI’s march cost government Rs149 million

Published May 27, 2022
PTI supporters sweep the area near D-Chowk after the departure of long march participants on Thursday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
PTI supporters sweep the area near D-Chowk after the departure of long march participants on Thursday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s ‘Haqiqi Azadi March’ cost the government Rs149 million to maintain law and order in the capital.

This amount was released to police after officials sent a written request to the government asking for the amount, police officers on condition of anonymity told Dawn. Despite repeated attempts, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan could not be contacted for comments.

Police were not able to participants of the march from reaching Red Zone; the participants removed blockades, confronted the security personnel and even set some trees on fire.

The police officers said request for the supplementary grant was made to the chief commissioner’s office, it then reached the interior ministry and then it was forwarded to the finance ministry for release of funds.

In the written request, the police said they would maintain law and order, and security personnel were also requisitioned from outside Islamabad.

Funds released on request of police for a supplementary grant, say officers

Besides this, other necessary items would be arranged, it stated, adding that a huge amount was already spent on the maintenance of law and order in the capital during the 48th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in March 2022, vote of no-confidence against the ousted prime minster and the subsequent election of the incumbent prime minister.

For these events, Rs150 million were demanded, however, no funds had been been approved for the police so far. At present, no funds are available with the police to cater to requirements and besides this, vendors were reluctant to provide services due to their pending liabilities.

Workers of a telecom organisation repair internet cables, damaged during PTI long march. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad
Workers of a telecom organisation repair internet cables, damaged during PTI long march. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad

“In view of the above, additional funds are required on an urgent basis to ensure effective security measures during the law and order situation due to the PTI’s protest and sit-in,” the request said.

The amount of Rs149 million was demanded to bear expenses for five days, Rs47,500,000 was sought for hiring 380 containers (each costing Rs125,000 for five days use), Rs1,300,000 for four cranes (each costing Rs65,000 for five days) and Rs1,000,000 for four fork lifters (each for Rs50,000 for five days).

Likewise, Rs2,798,500 for 100 buses for transportation of the force from outside to the capital (each costing Rs27,985), Rs9794,750 for 350 buses for transportation of the force within capital (Rs27985 each), Rs2,798,500 for 100 buses for transportation of the force back to their respective districts (Rs27,985 each), Rs1,685,000 for 100 trucks for logistics teams, food, water (for five days and each costing Rs16,850), Rs260,000 for 10 water tankers for five days (each costing Rs26,000).

Moreover, an amount of Rs41,250,000 was also demanded for food charges for 15,000 officials of the capital and other district police for five days, the officers said, adding for the purchase of complete anti-riot kits another amount of Rs35,300,000 was demanded.

Similarly, Rs4,500,000 were sought for the purchase of miscellaneous items – water, coolers, torches, electricity, etc).

Read: Govt says Imran 'has run away after spreading chaos' as protesters begin dispersing from D-Chowk

The officers further stated that during the current financial year, the capital police had been allocated very limited funds which have already been consumed. The police have already made re-appropriation within the allocated budget to meet the requirements and at present, funds are not available under any head of account which can further be re-appropriated to meet the requirements.

Sources in the chief commissioner office told Dawn that an amount of Rs70,001,000 had been allocated for vehicles and containers in the 2021-2022 budget and later the police got an amount of Rs67,815,000. So far, Rs157,816,000 have been spent under the head, they added.

Likewise, Rs38,500,000 were allocated for diet and food charges in the 2021-2022 budget and later the police got an additional amount of Rs34,500,000. So far, an Amount of Rs82,900,000 has been spent under the head.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while speaking in the National Assembly praised the capital police, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and the traffic police along with the capital administration and other departments for their efforts to maintain law and order and protect the public and private property.

He also announced a package for a martyr and injured officials of the Punjab police.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2022

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