Urban Police

The Maharashtra state government is planning to arm civic bodies with a new police wing in its arsenal, which will function under various municipal corporations in the state.To be called the urban police, they will enforce laws laid down in the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act. They will penalise those those who flout the Act, like encroachers of government and civic land and those who illegally park vehicles on land belonging to civic bodies.The urban police will have its own police stations. The chief of each municipal corporation will head its urban police department.The step is being taken in view of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation leading to population concentration in cities, increase in encroachment upon government and civic land and mushrooming of illegal constructions.The government view is that civic bodies would become a lot more efficient in implementing laws once urban police wings are set up.In the past few years, mushrooming of slums, encroachments of land, land-grabbing and illegal parking of vehicles on civic land have been posing problems for the civic bodies in maintaining law and order. Besides, illegal constructions and encroachments have been coming in the way of development works.
At present, municipal corporations have to rope in city police to carry out anti-encroachment drives and prevent other civic offences. For this, they have to pay the police personnel. The proposed urban police will ease the civic bodies' dependence on them.For setting up the civic police wing, local bodies will be able to recruit urban police as per requirement and the municipal corporation will have increased power to enforce laws once this agency is set up."The idea was floated by the state government's urban planning department. We have already given our requirement of urban police staff, to the state government. We are also ready to pay them salaries," said Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma.Additional Commissioner of Police Rajendra Sonawane, however, said, "I do not know about the constitution or the purpose of urban police, so I cannot comment on it.""The proposal has to be first passed by the cabinet. It will then be presented to the Home Ministry. Only then can the urban police wing turn into a reality. The setting up of an urban police force will also depend on how many municipal corporations give their positive response to the idea," he added.
The urban police would help the corporation in tackling the problem of encroachment by parked vehicles, Sharma said. Pune Municipal Commissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi said, "We have given our requirement to the Urban Development Ministry. We have requested for 100 staff for the proposed urban police wing and a police station."The urban police wing, once its is set up, will be the one to implement civic laws and penalise offenders. They would have special rights but their law-implementation rights will be limited to civic issues.

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