The Maharashtra government has set a target to build 50,000 houses for police personnel by 2019, out of which at least 7,000 homes will be built in 2015 with Rs. 1,000 crore allocated in this budget.
“We will try and construct at least 7,000 homes this year and have set a target of 50,000 homes by 2019. There are more than 2 lakh police personnel in the state and we want to provide all of them homes within a specific time-frame,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi said.
He said housing for police is a priority for the state government as the issue has been left pending for more than three years.
The state has a separate board for police housing and a Director General of Police (DGP) rank officer is appointed as the Chief of the Board.
However, despite, the issue being raised several times in the State Legislature, housing for police has been stuck at the bureaucratic level.
“During the previous government’s (Congress-NCP) tenure, the Housing Board’s power of taking decisions on the administrative approvals and revised approvals of projects were withdrawn and centralised at the Mantralaya level. This affected the progress of housing schemes for police as 32 files were stuck in Mantralaya and there was no decision taken on these files for more than three years,” said Bakshi.
He said that the Housing Board had approved the construction of buildings for police personnel at various places in Mumbai and had submitted files to the Public Works department for further approvals.
“When these files were sent to Mantralaya for a final nod, the PWD department sat on it and the project could not move forward.
This issue was raised with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, when a presentation was made before him in February this year,” Bakshi said.
“Later, Fadnavis gave the Housing Board the powers to take decisions of administrative approvals and revised administrative approvals,” he added.
Bakshi said that during a meeting of the Housing Board officials on April 23, eight, out of 32 files were given sanctions for a go-ahead.
“Also, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has supported the Home department and has thus allocated Rs. 1,000 crore for housing schemes in this year’s budget,” he said.
Bakshi said that police personnel will soon own flats of at least 500 sq feet in Mumbai.