CM approves Rs 20m for coolers in prisons
* Orders Home Dept to fill up 25 percent vacant seats by June 30
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi has approved a Rs 20 million grant for the Home Department to install electric coolers and fans in prisons and has ordered the department to fill its vacant seats, which was about 25 percent, by June 30, sources told Daily Times on Monday.
Sources said CM Elahi approved the grant so that Punjab jails could be somewhat cooler in the summers. The Home Department was now writing to the Finance Department for the grant’s release, sources added.
They said besides the Punjab Police Department’s estimated Rs 8.25 billion budget for the year 2002-2003 and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded programme ‘Access to Justice’ worth $260 million for the Punjab, the Rs 20 million grant would be the highest one given to the Police Department by the present government.
Sources said the government had proved itself generous enough by providing the grant, as governments usually provided such grants only when jails were once complete. They said facilities such as coolers and fans were only provided by NGOs.Sources said along with electric coolers and fans, x-ray machines would also be provided to the prisons.
Sources further said CM Elahi had also ordered the Home Department to fill its 25 percent vacancy by June 30 and the remaining 25 percent after June 30.
They said the vacant seats included those of wardens, assistant superintendents and deputy superintendents in the Prison Department.