Himachal to construct more prisons, expand existing ones

Shimla, April 21 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh will expand its existing prisons and also construct new ones to overcome the problem of overcrowded jails, an official statement said on Thursday.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been told about the possibility of expansion of the Nahan jail and construction of a new prison complex in Mandi, the statement said.

Presiding over a meeting of the prisons department officials here, Director General of Police (Prisons) Somesh Goyal said that land for the Mandi jail has been transferred to the department.

Besides, land has been identified for the new jail complex in Kullu.

The chief minister had asked officials to explore the possibilities of constructing a jail in Rampur.

A proposal for opening a sub-jail in Nalagarh in Solan district has also been mooted.

Permission has been given to fill 69 posts in the jail department to overcome staff shortage.

Goyal said as against the total capacity to lodge 1,692 inmates in 14 jails and a borstal in Himachal, as many as 2,137 inmates, including 77 women, were at present housed there.

As part of its initiative towards jail reforms, Himachal authorities have declared one barrack each in six jails at Kanda, Nahan, Solan, Mandi, Dharamsala and Chamba as ‘open air jail’.

This system allow prisoners to go out of jail, once they have served a stipulated term, to earn their livelihood.

–IANS

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