NEW DELHI, May 26: The Union Home Ministry today decided to increase the ration money for each of the over 50,000 Delhi policemen to Rs 570 per month.This was announced by Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism Madan Lal Khurana and Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma at separate press conferences this afternoon.
The scheme, which will cost the exchequer around Rs 45 crore, will ensure that every non-gazetted Delhi policemen up to the rank of head constables gets Rs 570 with effect from April 1 this year. Both the BJP leaders were, however, quick to claim credit for the new scheme. Khurana said that it was he who had initiated the move when he was the Chief Minister. ``I had written to S.B. Chavan when he was the Home Minister several times but he did not respond. Today's decision fulfills a 20-year-long demand of the Delhi Police.''
A triumphant Verma, on the other hand, said: ``After a struggle for four-and-half years, we have finally achieved what we wanted,'' Sahib Singh said tonight.
He also felt that he was not too far from getting Delhi Police under the Delhi Government, something else he has been asking for as much time. ``The first step in this direction was the appointment of the new Police Commissioner in which our views were taken,'' he explained. ``The second step was this increase in ration money. And the third step would be the transfer of Delhi Police to Delhi Government,'' he felt. Verma's enthusiasm stems from the fact that the licensing department of the Delhi police was recently transferred to the Delhi Government.
A senior officer of Delhi Police, requesting anonymity, had another opinion. He said that the hiked ration allowance was a welcome step, but it could not be considered an indication of future course of events. ``Beside's transferring the control of the whole police department to the Delhi government will not be a welcome step,'' he said.
Police Commissioner V.N. Singh could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts.
Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.