VELLORE: The petrol bunk constructed in the outer periphery of the Central Prison, Vellore, is ready to launch. The commercial operations are expected to be set in motion soon.
The fuel retail outlet is set up in cooperation with the oil major Indian Oil Corporation in the outer periphery of the prison located at Thorapadi near here. The construction works were completed in over four months.
The project is part of a major reformation and rehabilitation measure initiated by the Tamil Nadu Prisons department.
“The petrol retail outlet project is aimed at engaging the good conduct prisoners in industrial activity, besides generating revenue for the Prisons department,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Prisons, Vellore Range, K Jayabharathi told Express.
Apart from a group of prisoners handpicked for running the retail outlet, employees of Prisons will also be pressed into service. They are being trained in handling the business.
According to M Andal, Superintendent of Vellore Central Prisons, “Training is being given to the prisoners selected for operating the petrol bunk. Our staff will also be part of the workforce running the outlet.” Initially, as many as 15 good conduct prisoners will be drafted into duty for the petrol retail outlet and the numbers may be increased later, she added.
The petrol bunk, which is expected to be launched by Tamil Nadu chief minister shortly, is one of the five retail outlets coming up in the peripheries of Central Prisons at Puzhal in Chennai, Coimbatore, Palayankottai in Tirunelveli, and the Borstal School in Pudukottai, sources said.
They informed that the prisoners, employed for work at the retail outlets, may be paid a monthly salary up to Rs.10,000.
The sources noted that six similar outlets will come up at Puzhal, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Salem and Madurai as well. These bunks will be customer-friendly with all the necessary facilities.
The petrol bunk project is expected to give tremendous opportunity to the prisoners with good conduct and behaviour engage themselves in constructive activities instead of simply languishing behind the bars.