Acute fuel shortage badly hits police’s core functions in Punjab – Pakistan


LAHORE: The continual fuel shortage being confronted by the Punjab Police division has change into vital due to a drastic minimize in the funds for the POL (petrol, oil and lubricants), and extension in the fiscal yr’s quarter interval from three months to 4 by the caretaker authorities, forcing the police to curtail mobility of it automobiles, adversely impacting its core operate of sustaining regulation and order and investigation.

The scenario has hit the police division onerous as hundreds of its automobiles throughout the province are on the verge of operating out of fuel, prompting the heads of many of the police stations to discover “various means”, together with getting obliged from personal events to fulfill the fuel shortage.

The scenario was notably alarming in Lahore the place practically 800 police automobiles, together with all of the 400 dolphin bikes and over 100 vehicles of Police Response Units (PRU), meant for essential patrolling need to restrict their operations, just about leaving the residents on the mercy of the criminals.

Meanwhile, the crime scenario was aggravating with each passing day because the dolphin and PRU police drive, which have been meant to fight avenue crime and robberies, have virtually stopped functioning. As per sources the police response to the 15 calls throughout town has additionally been curtailed to most pressing conditions due to the acute fuel shortage.

Dolphin, PRU wings restrict response to fifteen helpline calls

It is learnt reliably that the fuel shortage had been persisting for the final two months or so for the Punjab Police.

However, the scenario has worsened just lately because the caretaker authorities has launched a meager amount of fuel to the provincial police division to discharge solely selective duties, together with these associated to protocol of the VIPs and VVIPs.

As per sources, a number of station home officers (SHOs) and in expenses of the investigation wings of the Lahore police have been pressured to get fuel for automobiles or cash from personal events, together with some ‘notorious folks’ in their respective areas who, in return, demand undue favours from them.

An official aware about the scenario instructed Dawn the disaster started to hit Punjab Police when the caretaker authorities elevated the fiscal yr’s quarter interval from three months to 4, directing the police excessive-ups to make do with the out there POL quota.

Secondly, he says, the federal government made a drastic minimize in the POL funds for police, apparently as a result of escalating petroleum costs as is clear from the figures revealing the sorry state of affairs.

The official reveals that the Punjab Police was supplied funds to the tune of Rs2 billion underneath POL head for all the sphere models/formations throughout the province through the first quarter ranging from July.

However, to the shock of the police hierarchy, the federal government drastically minimize the POL funds, releasing solely Rs178 million for the Nov-Feb quarter, which left the Punjab Police handicapped, he says.

As a consequence, he says, the police division distributed Rs1m to Rs2m funds to the drive in main districts to run their operational and regulation and order affairs solely, badly impacting the police’s crime preventing and investigation functions.

About the Lahore police, the official says, their month-to-month requirement of funds for the fuel was Rs110 million to 112 million. However, they’ve been supplied solely Rs20 million towards the precise requirement for the following (Nov to Feb) quarter.

Of the given funds, the provincial capital police authorities distributed separate funds amongst numerous models/subject formations to deal with their emergency wants.

The official says {that a} main chunk of the quantity went to the operations and safety divisions of the Lahore police which have been discharging regulation & order and excessive-profile safety duties.

The Lahore’s operations wing obtained solely Rs9 million towards its requirement of Rs50m to Rs70m underneath the POL head, displaying the size of fuel shortage being confronted by the division.

He says the paucity of fuel hit most onerous to the dolphin and PRU, prompting the police excessive-ups to drastically curtail their operations.

The official says there are round 1,200 automobiles on the disposal of the Lahore police, together with operations and investigation wings.To a query, he says, there is just one petrol pump allotted for fuel provide to the Lahore police, positioned at Mughalpura, from the place all automobiles from complete 84 police stations, together with Dolphin, safety division and investigation and operation wings, get fuel. The automobiles underneath using the senior cops, together with Lahore capital metropolis police officer, DIGs, SSPs and SPs, additionally get fuel from this designated petrol pump, he provides.

The official regrets that 10 to twenty p.c of the fuel quota of the far-flung police stations and places of work will get wasted in reaching of their automobiles to the Mughalpura petrol pump and getting again to their respective police stations/obligation factors, together with Kahna, Raiwind, Shahdara, Barki, and Batapur.

He says that regardless of the continual shortage, desire is being given in fuel provide to the automobiles underneath using senior cops and people discharging protocol duties for the safety of the VIPs and VVIPs in town.

Punjab IGP Dr Usman Anwar confirmed to Dawn that the provincial police have been dealing with an acute shortage of POL as a result of paucity of funds.

He mentioned that he has introduced the matter to the discover of Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, who promised to launch funds to handle the disaster.

He mentioned the CM additionally proposed the Punjab Police to shift on electrical automobiles , saying that the shortage could persist in future in the worldwide perspective.

“Following the CM strategies, now we have determined to buy 200 electrical bikes initially, and Rs30 million funds have been allotted for the aim,” the IG mentioned.

Published in Dawn, November twentieth, 2023

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