THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bogged down by financial woes, the state government is likely to reject the request of the police department seeking financial perks for all its officers and supporting staff taking part in the Covid-19 operations. State Police Chief Loknath Behera had requested the government to sanction special allowances to 56,526 officers and staffers, which if accepted will cost the government `125.94 crore.
Behera had sought `250 per day as feeding charge and `300 per day as risk allowance for the cops and support staff from the State Disaster Response Fund or any other admissible funds. The Finance Department, it has been learnt, has raised initial objection to allotting the fund in the wake of the state facing serious financial hardship. “Police department is one of the partakers in the fight against Covid. If their request for allowances is accepted, then many other departments will follow suit. Given the financial status of the state at present, entertaining such requests will not be feasible. The Finance Minister will soon take a call on the matter,” said a Finance Department official.
The Fire and Rescue Department has also wrote to the government to consider its officers for special allowances if such perks are disbursed to officials of other departments. The letter written by the Director General (Fire And Rescue Services) A Hemachandran, a copy of which is with TNIE, said the department is aware of the financial status of the government and hence feel that it’s not right to demand allowances at this occasion.
“If the officials of similar departments are considered for special allowances, we request that the valuable service put in by our staff should also be duly considered,” the letter read. Meanwhile, sources said the government might consider the request only if the Centre gives any assurance on a special financial package for the state.
Behera calls cut as cops go on shooting spree
The Police Department has issued orders asking its personnel not to indulge in unauthorised video shooting and warned them from approaching celebrities to act in such videos. The order issued by State Police Chief Loknath Behera said the department has made more than 300 videos and “it is necessary to limit the videos and concentrate on core and Covid policing”. The department had forayed into video production via the Police Media Cell, which created video contents on various topics, including Covid-19, that had gone viral.
Following suit, various police wings and the district units also began churning out videos. The police headquarters, meanwhile, received complaints from some celebrities that some officers were coercing them into acting in their videos. Sources at the headquarters said this was one of the reasons behind the new order banning unauthorised video production. The units have been asked to ensure that prior approval should be obtained from Headquarters ADGP before making videos that entail special shooting requirements.