QUEEN’S ROAD: The City Armed Reserve (CAR) police quarters seem to have become a safe haven for gamblers. Less than 50 per cent of the 424 houses are occupied by constables. The remaining are either abandoned or being used by anti-social elements.
The quarters stand adjacent to the CAR Parade Ground next to Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji Flyover on Mysore Road. Families in the area say delinquents hole up in some of the quarters and drink, gamble and make a racket after dusk. Sometimes, they commit burglaries at night. “You can’t leave any house unattended here. Even if you leave it locked, chances are your house will be burgled by the time you return,” says Nagarathna, a homemaker.
Of the constables living in the quarters, just 40 are with family. No police inspector or officer of a higher rank like assistant police commissioner lives here. According to sources, many constables even vacated their homes due to the frequent burglaries. The increase in house rent allowance offered by the state government made it a simple choice for most.
Residents say police launched night patrolling after the number of burglary complaints went through the roof, but this lasted just a few days. The miscreants soon went back to business. “They sit on the compound walls at night, get drunk and throw empty bottles on the road,” a resident says.
A constable who has been living in the quarters for 23 years says, “The quarters have been neglected for the past 7-8 years. When a new DG or IGP takes charge, his house gets renovated for like `4 lakh or `5 lakh. But the constables’ quarters remain neglected.”
The government school, now decrepit, set up in 1935 for the benefit of children of police personnel has just 10 students now. None of them come from a policeman’s family.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Sami Ullah Khan, who is in charge of the quarters, said a renovation proposal was sent to the Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation about a year ago, but it did not result in substantial change. Of the 20 blocks lying in a pathetic state, only one was renovated.