Most of the chowkis have been n a dilapidated condition for years
Vadodara: They have been around for decades and are considered an important part of policing in the city. But most of the police chowkis located in every area of the city had been in dilapidated condition for years.
The police department has now initiated a drive to refurbish these weather-beaten chowkis and add better facilities for the cops posted there. Altogether 30 chowkis in the city are getting a facelift.
“A lot of staff is posted in chowkis that are a key element of policing. Most of these chowkis needed some refurbishment and additional facilities so that the staff could work effectively. So we have begun repairing and redoing them,” said Anupam Singh Gahlaut, city police commissioner.
Cramped space, lack of proper lighting or good washroom facilities makes it difficult for them to conduct their duty properly at many chowkis. “In some chowkis, the women staff have to use washrooms of colleagues staying in the neighbourhood,” said a police official.
According to the police, 11 chowkis didn’t have washrooms until this date. “Now we are building washrooms inside these chowkis and also renovating the existing ones in others. Also, fresh paint and some minor repair work are being done in most of the chowkis,” said Gahlaut. Eight of these chowkis including Shiyapura police chowky in Karelibaug, Pratapnagar police chowky, Mahila police station, Ganjkhana police chowky in Panigate, Lehripura police chowky in Wadi, Pattargate police chowky in Navapura, Market Chowki and Babajipura police chowky in Dandia Bazaar belong to the Gaekwadi era.
“The Gaekwad era chowkis are being treated as heritage buildings. We are ensuring that no external changes are done in these chowkis to retain their original look,” Gahlaut said.
In 2013, the then police commissioner Satish Sharma had initiated a project to empower the police chowkis by allotting more staff and vehicles for tackling the crime rates.