NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police are facing a crisis of a peculiar sort. More than 83,000 policemen in Delhi including the lower constabulary, sub- inspectors and inspectors are forced to wear shoddy shoes to work as they have not been given uniform shoes from the department in the last three years.
According to the norms, all policemen from the rank of constables to inspectors including the station house officers are entitled to a new pair of shoes every two years.
But the department hasn’t provided them with new shoes since the last three years. This is forcing the cops to buy a new pair of shoes on their own or manage with the worn out ones.
The issue started three years ago when the government directed the central police forces including the Delhi Police to buy shoes from Small and Medium Scale Industries and the shoes that were supplied to Delhi Police did not pass the quality test anytime. The ministry had passed this instruction in order to promote the industries.
The lower constabulary, who do most of the leg work, are the worst- affected.
A constable with the Delhi Police said on condition of anonymity, “Every time I have filed an application for a new pair of shoes, it gets rejected. My shoes have worn out and it is difficult to work wearing them especially in summers. It is not possible to run or walk for a long distance. If the department does not sanction one this time, I will have to buy them on my own.” After getting low quality product from the SMEs, the Delhi Police wrote a letter to the ministry of small and medium enterprises, requesting them to exempt the force from buying shoes from SMEs. However, the ministry has not takem any decision and the matter is still stuck in their files.
According to sources in the police force, the ministry, rather than working on supplying shoes to the force, has started analysing why the shoes could not pass quality test.
“Currently, the situation is worsening as policemen come to us complaining that they are not being given shoes and accuse the higher-ups of sitting on their uniform money. We definitely cannot give them the shoes that we got from these SMEs as their quality is very low,” said T. N. Mohan, Special CP General Administration.
Another police officer said, “Till three years ago, the Delhi Police used to float tenders for buying shoes and procured good quality shoes. The shoes that we give to our staff usually last for up to two years. However, after the ministry of small and medium enterprises directed all the central police forces to buy shoes from SMEs we now have to depend upon them.” Around four to five SMEs supplied shoes to the Delhi Police thrice but the shoes could not pass the quality test. We got them tested at the Indian Leather Research Institute and Indian Institute of Technology and the quality was found to be very low, the officer added.
According to the uniform norms of the Delhi Police, the lower sub- ordinates — constables, head constables and assistant sub- inspectors are supposed to wear black leather shoes and the higher sub- ordinates — sub- inspectors and inspectors should wear brown Oxford shoes.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.