IG MS Bhatia (left) and DGP Rajiv Kumar during the opening of the canteen in Ranchi on Tuesday. (Prashant Mitra)
At a time when the rupee is tumbling at every step, a penny saved is certainly a penny earned.
Around 7,000 police personnel of the state on Tuesday got a gift to cherish — an outlet stocking consumer goods at discounted rates on the lines of the famous army canteens — at Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP)-1 campus in Doranda.
Director-general of police (DGP) Rajiv Kumar inaugurated the first-of-its-kind canteen for police personnel that will stock everything from groceries and electronic goods to four-wheelers, sports gear and even liquor.
Products will be 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than in the open market, courtesy tax cuts.
Set up by the Union home ministry, the canteen will be run by the Central Police Canteen, which already maintains as many as 126 master canteens and 841 subsidiary canteens across the country.
The Ranchi canteen spells shopping bounty for Jharkhand personnel posted at police headquarters, districts, JAP-1, crime investigation department or special branch. Offers will be open for retired policemen as well.
“Similar canteens will open on the premises of JAP-4 in Bokaro, JAP-6 in Jamshedpur and Jharkhand Jaguar in Dhurwa,” said DGP Kumar.
The police personnel are, of course, delighted.
“At the time when the nation is facing an acute fiscal crisis, the canteen is a savings gift for our families,” said hawaldar H.B. Tamang. Beaming colleague B.B. Gotome added: “When we are deputed to forests, our family faces problem while buying items of daily use. Now, that difficulty is gone.”
The only flip side? Doranda shopkeepers are frowning.