HYDERABAD: The Telangana Prisons department has clocked a turnover of more than Rs 495 crore in 2018 through industries and petrol stations run by it, a top official said Thursday.
The department, which is marching towards self-sufficiency, achieved Rs 495.85 crore turnover and earned a net profit of Rs 16.72 crore last year.
It is eyeing Rs 30 crore net profit in the current year (2019), Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, Vinoy Kumar Singh told reporters here.
"Our target is to earn Rs 100 crore profits in 2020 which will make the department self-sufficient. We are marching fast on path to self-sufficiency and setting an ambitious target to achieve it by 2020 itself," he said.
The Telangana Prisons Department operates 17 petrol pumps in Hyderabad and different districts wherein inmates and released prisoners besides former jail authorities man such bunks.
The department also established 'My Nation Outlets' and 'Ayurvedic villages,' where prisoners are provided employment.
Expressing surprise over the decline in the number of prisoner deaths last year, Singh said the number of deaths dropped to eight in 2018 as against 17 in 2017 and 56 reported in 2014.
Listing the facilities provided to prisoners, the official said, "The Telangana Prisons has become a pioneer in providing medical facilities to the prisoners including Master Health checkup, nutritious food, physical exercises.
"We have provided ambulances to all the prisons," he said.
On the department's target for 2019, Singh said, "We have set a target for improving the industries and taking care of the jail department staff. We will prepare proforma for collecting information on education and health of each and every jail staff and their family members."
Claiming that the Telangana Prisons department had almost become corruption-free, he said only one allegation of proved corruption against a jail official came to light and the complainant was paid cash reward Rs 10,000 as declared in its policy.
According to Singh, 76,443 people were lodged in jails across the state as of 2018 and out of it around 12,000 were serving sentences in connection with drunken driving cases.
To a query, he said sexual offenders, rape accused and convicts are lodged in separate barracks in the jails and are also being provided with special counselling in order to reform them.
On the 'Anand Ashrams' (special homes) set up for rehabilitation of beggars in the city, Singh said, "So far 7,319 male beggars and 4475 female beggars visited the Ashrams of which 7079 male beggars and 4440 female beggars were released on their personal undertaking not to resort to begging again."
Referring to the 'Vidhya Dan' programme of the department, he said, "As many as 1,32,705 unlettered prisoners have been made literates."
Soon after assuming charge in July 2014, Singh launched the programme, aimed at making the inmates at least sign instead of giving their thumb impression as was done prior to admission into jail.
Advising other departments to follow the administrative model of the Telangana Prisons department, he said, "This model can be adopted by other departments in Telangana to make Telangana state a 'Bangaru State' (Golden State)."