The Delhi Police Department’s data shows that it has spent Rs 300 crore on hiring 400 cars in six years whereas they could have purchased around 2,800 vehicles in the same amount.
A study by Praja Foundation, a voluntary organisation, revealed that the number of police officers working in different districts of the capital is less than the sanctioned strength. And the shortage ranged between 45 to 545 personnel.
As per the RTI documents, Delhi Police paid Rs 295.66 crore to Jay Pee and Co for 350 Gipsies and 50 SUVs between January 2010 and March 2016, as reported by The India Today.
The move has been criticised by many including automobile experts saying that the same amount could have been utilised in buying 2,800 SUVs or 400 SUVs for Rs 50 crore and the remaining amount could have been used in other government programmes.
Apart from spending Rs 300 crore, the department has paid Rs 37.22 crore as rent to other companies for using minibuses, buses, CNG LCV/ Tata 407 in the same period.
As per the data available, the department paid Rs 2.06 crore to M/s Sneh Tourist Corporation for 40 buses. They also paid Rs 42.93 lakh as rent to M/s Narbada Travels for ten minibuses. M/s Rajendra Singh, M/s GT Roadways, and M/s Makhan Singh received Rs 91.08 lakh for 23 CNG LCV/Tata 407 that was hired by the department.
The RTI activist from Trilokpuri, East Delhi Zeeshan Haider questioned the spending patterns of Delhi police on rented vehicles. He asked why the force do not buy its vehicles and relied on hired cars which are more expensive.
The department had deployed 82 private cranes and 52 small cranes with the capacity of 1.4-2.3 tonnes and 2 tonnes respectively at various traffic circles for towing vehicles parked illegally. Delhi Police pays Rs 3,600 per day for each large crane and Rs 2,100 for small ones.
Zeeshan stated that the police and the government could have bought 400 SUVs in Rs 50 crore and also they could have purchased more than 2,000 AC/Non-AC SUVs at the same price in which they hired private vehicles. As per the protocol, only A-grade officers are allowed to use AC cars while other officers can only use Non-AC vehicles.
Last year, a report highlighted the acute shortage of funds in ‘Yuva Prahari’ community policing scheme of Delhi Police, in paying stipends to volunteers enrolled under the programme, as reported by India Today.
As per Sneh Tourist Corporation, they are allowed to arrange vehicles for the Delhi Police on contract basis through tenders, and they keep renewing those bids.
This February, Delhi High Court pulled up Delhi Police for failing to install CCTV cameras in all police stations in the Capital. The Supreme Court directed to set up security cameras in the police station premises by June 2015, and despite this deadline, not a single camera has been installed. The cameras in use prior to the directive did not have the ability to record video.