Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has finally decided to implement the police commissionerate system in the state, despite stiff resistance from the IAS lobby.
A proposal to this effect was passed at a cabinet meeting held here on Monday morning.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced this decision after the cabinet meeting and said the decision would further improve the law and order situation in the state.
Sources said that ADG rank officers will be posted as commissioners in Lucknow and Noida. Forty police stations in the state capital will follow this system but those in the rural outskirts will continue with the old system for now.
The police commissionerate system will initially be launched in Lucknow and Noida and then gradually be implemented in other districts, depending on its success.
The police commissionerate system, when implemented, will leave the district magistrates with only revenue related work and all decisions regarding law and order will be taken by the police commissioners.
The top civil administrative officials, for this reason, have been opposing the commissionerate system.
Retired IAS officer, Surya Pratap Singh, said, “The police in UP already have so much power. They are conducting encounters and questions are raised quite often on the functioning of the cops. People are generally scared of the police and the cops have also failed to win public confidence. The commissionerate system will not be successful because people generally prefer going to the district magistrates and sub-divisional magistrates for redressal of their problems. They feel more comfortable in interacting with civil administrative officials than the cops.”
He further said that even if the new system is implemented, “the IAS officers will continue to have an upper hand because the government policy making decisions are taken only after consulting them.”
UP Director General of Police O.P. Singh said, “The system gives more powers, including magisterial powers, to IPS officers of the Inspector General of Police (IG) rank, posted as commissioners. The system has been implemented in around 71 cities across 15 states in the country. As of now, the magisterial powers are with the IAS officers. The move was initiated earlier also but could not be implemented.”
Retired UP Director General of Police (DGP) K.L. Gupta also said that the move will make effective control on crime.
“This system should have been introduced earlier in the police department. This will give more powers to the senior police officers and will increase their accountability. When a violent protest takes place in any district, the cops have to wait for district magistrate’s approval to take action. There are times when the situation goes out of hand due to the delay in getting permission. The commissionerate system will give police a free hand to act swiftly and take decisions regarding maintaining law and order,” said Gupta.
BJP spokesperson Harish Chandra Srivastava, meanwhile, said that “There are states which have already implemented this system successfully.
Last week, SSP Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani was transferred to Ghaziabad while SSP Noida Vaibhav Krishna was suspended. The posting in both the districts have been put on hold due to the expected decision on the commissionerate system.
Choose wisely – go organic this Holi
With Holi -the festival of colours coming up — everyone is busy buying colours, ‘pichkaris’, and balloons but with increasing environment pollution and severe allergic reactions to synthetic colours, there is a growing awareness among people to opt for organic variants.
“In an approximately Rs 4,500-crore unorganised Holi colour market, the share of the organic variety is miniscule, but growing,” said Madhumita Puri, Founder and Executive Director of Avacayam Naturals, a Delhi-based manufacturer of organic colours.
The adverse effects of synthetic colours was observed in a study titled ‘The Holi Dermatoses’, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
It found a spate in skin diseases following the spring festival in India.
In the study conducted on 42 patients in Kolkata, 11 patients suffered due to activities related to preparation of colors and 12 reported aggravation of pre-existing dermatoses.
Nearly 60 per cent patients reported itching, while others reported to have suffered from a burning sensation, scaling, redness and watering of the eyes, as per the study.
Treading on a eco-friendly and skin-friendly path, Avacayam Naturals employed differently-abled persons to make organic colours by using waste and used flowers and leaves.
This solves three purposes at one go – generates employment for the disabled, manufactures harmless eco-friendly colours, and there is optimal usage of waste flowers.
Speaking to IANS, Puri said: “For making the colours, we collect used flowers — roses, marigolds, and others — and leaves from temples, weddings, and hotels.”
Avacayam Naturals, one of the programs that Puri started under her “Trash to Cash” scheme, makes four colours: Pink from roses, yellow from yellow marigolds, orange from orange marigolds, and green from leaves.
On being asked if the colours are harmless, she said: “Rather than damaging the environment, they are beneficial as each packet of colour is made from waste flowers which otherwise would dirty the place.”
How are the colours made?
“After the flowers are collected, the workers sort them in different baskets according to their colour. Then, the petals and seed pods are separated and cut. These are then spread out to dry in a well ventilated space for all the moisture to evaporate.
“After that, they are ground and processed — without adding any chemicals — to be made into colours for people to enjoy,” Puri said, adding that the process of collection, drying, and grinding continues throughout the year but it is only before festivals that they process them into the final product.
“In a year, we manufacture around 20 tonne of pure organic colour, some of which is sold to Walmart India. One kilo of colour is sold between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000.”
When asked about the expiry date of these colours, Puri said: “The product is a dry one and completely natural. We have been testing them since five years now and have not found any deterioration in the quality, fungal infestations, or weevils. So there is no ‘expiry date’ to them.”
Another such manufacturer is Jaipur-based Red Earth which makes colours “exclusively from edible materials and scent them with pure, traditional attars”.
Speaking to IANS, Himanshu Verma, Director-Owner of Red Earth, said: “Every 2-3 years, we change our colour palette… this year we have four colours — Sunahra Dhamaal, Shvet Abeer, Neem Sanrachna, and Gulabi Nagariya — that are inspired by local materials.”
“The colours are curated on the basis of availability of local materials. We use items like camphor, neem, mehendi, multani-mitti, geru powder, arrowroot, flour, and others,” Verma said, adding that 50-60 per cent materials used are edible so that even if someone ingests them by mistake, they will not be as harmful.