Cuttack, Dec. 26: Shortage of manpower has thrown a shadow over plans of launching the police commissionerate system in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar by next year.
A month ago, the director-general of police (DGP) had pointed out to the number of vacancies in different ranks of the state force. Hamstrung by the staff crunch, the state force are up against a Herculean task trying to introduce the police system, implementing provisions of the Orissa Urban Police Act, in its real sense, from January 1, 2008.
DGP Gopal Nanda said the government is already taking up the problem. The situation would be addressed in a phased manner, he assured.
What has posed to be a major problem is the non-availability of the essential number of officers to be posted as deputy commissioners of police (DCP) and assistant police commissioners (ACP) in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Of the 159 IPS officers sanctioned for the state, 57 posts are lying vacant.
Under the new system, separate officers in the rank of the DCP are needed for crime, traffic, intelligence and security, urban police and traffic portfolios.
Under the existing administration, a police superintendent heads Cuttack and Khurda districts, which includes Bhubaneswar.
While Cuttack and Bhubaneswar would be treated as separate police districts, headed by a DCP, they would also have four to five sub-divisions respectively (each constituting of two to three stations), necessitating one ACP for each division.
Besides, the system requires a separate traffic district with three subdivisions Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and National Highway calling for three more ACP posts.
According to official sources as many as 360 ASI posts, 905 SI posts and 43 posts of inspectors have been vacant for years. A number of posts of DSPs have also been lying empty, as there has been no direct recruitment to the Orissa Police Service cadre, under the Orissa Civil Service, for decades.
Those apart, there are nearly 10,000 vacancies among the constables and other ranks. Commissioner-designate for the twin cities B.K. Behera concedes that the crunch is a problem, but is hopeful that a change would happen soon.