Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar is the fast-growing industrial region on the outskirts of Mumbai. At the same time, heavy growth in population, rising crime rates and insufficiency of policemen have increased the safety concerns for the residents of the region. Mira-Bhayandar falls under the jurisdiction of Thane-Rural Police and Vasai-Virar comes under the jurisdiction of Palghar district Police. So, proper policing is lacking in both townships. In this scenario, Fadnavis government’s decision to open a separate police commissionerate for the region will be proved a boon. It will help in controlling the crime in the region. The new commissionerate has been created by bifurcating the jurisdictions of Thane (Rural) superintendent of police and Palghar superintendent of police.
As per an official of the Home department, MBVV (Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar) commissionerate is likely to be inaugurated on Independence Day. Therefore, several IPS officers have started lobbying for the post. It is remarkable that population of the region is increasing due to cheap housing rates and low standard of living in both townships. It attracts Mumbaikars and migrants from various states in the area.
According to CMO, the population in Vasai-Virar and Mira-Bhayandar is more than 44 lakh, approximately and that both the townships have seen a rise in residential population as well as in small and medium business units in both rural and urban areas. The need of the hour is to have elaborate police strength to tackle crime and security needs.
As per reports, setting up the new police commissionerate will create 4708 new posts. Out of these, 1006 will come from Thane rural and 1,135 will come from Palghar. The remaining posts will be filled by fresh recruitment. According to PTI, the commissionerate will have six police stations from Thane rural and 13 from Palghar. The police commissioner will be the officer of Additional Director General (ADG) rank. The post of MBVV commissioner is seen as a favourable posting.
It is worth mentioning that a proposal in this connection had been tabled three years ago. Now, the proposal was cleared in the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Chief Minister also holds Home ministry. During the monsoon session of the state legislature, CM Fadnavis had assured legislators in the Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar region, the new commissionerate will be functional before the upcoming state elections. The Assembly elections in the state are due in October. By creation of new police commissionerate, criminals in the region can be externed from the belt by the police. In a district the Superintendent of Police has to consult the Collector.
Ketan Desai, a resident of Mira Road said, “The proposal to establish new police commissionerate is a right step towards curtailing crime in Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar. Since the population of these areas have been increasing it was necessary to keep a vigil over anti-social elements. The lack of police presence on streets and secluded spots continues to scare women. After committing the crime, criminals flee the city.”
As per senior police officials, the force is overburdened. Politicians too agree more policemen should be deployed in the region. Officials of both districts Palghar and Thane (rural) are of view that new police commissionerate would relieve an overstretched police force. At present, both Thane Rural and Palghar districts have 2,100 and 2,200 personnel respectively. Manpower for new commissionerate will be diverted from existing forces of both districts and through fresh recruitment.
Ramanand Prasad, a resident of Virar said, “Thefts, chain-snatching and robberies continue unabated in the region. Serious crime like land grabbing, illegal construction and money extortion are also happening. Apart from these, incidents of rape and molestation are also a cause of concern for women in the region. Drug addicts and prostitutes walk freely in certain areas and police are not seen anywhere.”
In Maharashtra it is seen, compared to districts, a commissionerate is allotted better manpower and infrastructure in the form of police vehicles and other policing tools. As per some reports, new commissionerate will have 20 police stations that will be divided into three zones. Out of these 20 police stations, five police stations falling under Thane (rural) will be moved to the commissionerate, while Palghar police will let go jurisdictions of eight police stations. Seven new police stations will be created.