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Funds not released for election security

May 09, 2013

ISLAMABAD, May 8: The capital police had demanded Rs8.3million from the interior ministry to bear the expenses of the election duties, but the amount is yet to be approved despite only two days remaining, sources told Dawn on Wednesday.

The interior ministry has neither responded to the police request nor forwarded the demand to the finance division for the release of funds.

The police have to arrange 77 rented vehicles for patrolling and purchase of blockades to be set up in almost 150 pickets in the city as part of security arrangements on the day.

However, shortage of funds may hamper the security arrangements in the city if police are unable to receive the amount on time, a senior police officer said, adding that the deployment of policemen and patrolling duties would start on Thursday (morning) and would be completed by Friday afternoon.

The demand was made to meet the expenses of fuel, transport and meals for the policemen performing duties on the Election Day.

The major portion of the amount, Rs4.9million, would be spent on purchasing meals for the 7,188 policemen deployed at polling stations, special pickets and on roads.

Similarly, Rs2.6million would be spent on purchasing fuel for the vehicles patrolling on May 11.

The rent for the 77 vehicles requires another Rs0.6million, and the remaining amount would be utilised to meet other expenses.

A total of 548 polling stations will be set up in the capital of which 18 have been declared sensitive and 12 as highly sensitive.

Out of the total 7,188 police personnel, 3,100 will be deployed at 548 police stations, while the remaining manpower will be used at 150 pickets and for patrolling.

The police had also demanded 3,000 personnel from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 800 from Frontier Constabulary and 1,000 from Rangers, but in response got only 1,000 personnel for AJK, 300 from FC and none from the Rangers.

The 7,188 personnel were arranged by withdrawing policemen from VVIP duties, while the VVIPs and VIPs were requested to avoid unnecessary movement as their security would be minimum on the day.