VILLUPURAM : Personnel of the Kallakurichi police sub division have been spending money out of their own pockets to rent houses for at least a decade now, due to the lack of inhabitable quarters.
A housing quarters built around 50 years back, is now in shambles and has become a haven of anti-social elements with portions of the compound remaining encroached.
While the policemen in service, fearing backlash from higher officials, are keeping mum about the issue and staying in nearby villages, the retired policemen welfare association (RPWA) of the sub division has taken up the issue. They have made several representations, seeking to retrieve the premises from squatters and gamblers.
Natesan, a retired SI and a member of the RPWA resolution panel, recalled that a quarters with 32 houses was built in a sprawling 3-acre site at Kottaimedu village during the regime of former CM K Kamaraj, about five decades back.
Like government-built infrastructure, the quarters began falling apart due to lack of maintenance and the policemen were forced to move out to rented houses in the surrounding areas. Sources told Express that no policeman has lived in these quarters in the past decade or so. They are in ruins
According to retired SSI Ilayaperumal, the Kallakurichi subdivision comprises the Kallakurichi police station, All Women Police Station (AWPS), traffic department wing, DSP camp office, special branch and other intelligence wings. It has around 200 uniformed personnel. They were all staying in Thiyagadurugam, Sankarapuram, Chinna Salem and Kachirapalayam areas, spending up to Rs 5,000 as rent per month. Commuting to work is also having a toll on the staff, he said.
When the policemen left the compound, squatters moved in, explained retired police constable Thavadan. During day, youth and children milled about, playing everything from marbles (goli) to card games. After dusk, anti-social elements set up makeshift bars and gamble throughout the night.
Several representation from the RPWA, seeking a new quarters have failed to bring any action.
If there was no progress in the issue soon, the association would organise a protest in front of the Kallakurichi Revenue Divisional Office, said Thavadan.
When contacted by Express, Kallakurichi Revenue Divisional Officer T R Malliga assured to inquire into the matter immediately and forward a proposal for a new quarters to the collector at the earliest.