BHADRAK:Lack of space and modern facilities have jeopardised security in Bhadrak sub-jail. The sub jail, built in 1915 to accommodate 114 prisoners, now houses 366 of them. The female ward which was designed for only two prisoners, now has over 15.
Owing to shortage of space, the prisoners are being accommodated in storerooms, office rooms and even in kitchens. The sub jail has no separate rooms for hardcore criminals giving them ample scope to escape. Moreover, non-installation of CCTV cameras has only added to the burden of the security staff. Adding to it, the jail is managing with very thin staff. As a safety measure, two prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment have been shifted to Balangir and Denkanal jails, sources said.
Other problems like adequate water supply system, poor drainage and sanitation system continue to haunt the sub jail. This remains the state of affairs of the sub-jail even as the State Government had approved construction of new district jail here.
Surprisingly, the Home Department has given consent and allotted required fund for a district jail eight years back. But, no work has yet been taken up, alleged a staff requesting anonymity.
The new district jail requires 25 acres of land. The district administration had allotted nearly 22 acres Government land at Amargadia, about 14 kms from town. Tender was also called but it was later cancelled on the plea that the jail cannot be constructed on less than 25 acres.
Meanwhile, the district administration surveyed the area and gave a favourable report stating that the place is suitable for the jail. The administration also expressed its inability to provide 25 acres Government land at one place. Five years passed ever since but there has been no response from the Government even as the jail authorities continue to grapple with staff and space shortage to keep criminals within the premises.