Between the Lines
What Maharashtra needs more urgently than beef detection kits
But of course Mr Devendra Fadnavis, all the rest can wait for they are not priorities.
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So this indeed is happening! Among all the hullabaloo and concerns and protests about increase in cow-related violence, Maharashtra is providing its police department with beef detection kits. According to media reports, the state police would soon get 45 of these kits, which, apparently, can identify cow meat within 30 minutes.
The idea is to help policemen (who are supposed to carry these around in mobile vans) identify if the seized meat is beef.
For policemen and labs burdened with cases of possession of beef (which news reports tell us are being reported and acted upon quite promptly) this indeed is of immediate requirement. What isn't a problem, though, is this:
According to the police bureau, as of Janusary 2016, the Maharashtra Police had 17,131 vehicles - the highest owned by the police force in any state. But for the state’s 1.8 lakh strong police force, it comes to 9.7 vehicles per 100 policemen. But mobility for cops, sirs, is not a problem!
The state police has 479 breath analysers - not even half of 1,124 owned by the Rajasthan Police, the highest in the country - and only one per two lakh people. It uses 65 speedometers. We can leave the pain of calculating how many lakh people are supposed to be monitored by these.
And, just for the record, the state reported 63,805 road accidents in 2015, the second highest in the country.
There are 7,641 computers for the entire police force in the state. It comes to one computer per 23 policemen. But we can definitely wait for police stations to become more efficient!
The state police, which protect 9 per cent of India's population, are armed with 3,449 CCTV cameras. A closer look and it comes to just one CCTV per 90sqkm. Punjab, a state much smaller than Maharashtra, has 5,169 CCTV cameras.
But of course Mr Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra needs beef detection kits more than any of this!
(Data as of January 2016)