Meant for women’s safety steps, Nirbhaya Fund flows like droplets

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New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) A slew of women’s safety measures that were promised under the Rs 1000 crore Nirbhaya Fund are either work in progress or have been non-starters.

A breakdown of Nirbhaya Fund spending in the last five years, shared in Parliament by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, show big gaps in money approved and spent.

The lion’s share of the fund — Rs 2,840 crore — has been approved for “safe city proposal” covering Delhi and seven other state capitals (Kolkata, Mumbail Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Lucknow). The proposal was cleared in march 2018, but so far only Rs 733.92 crore has been spent.

A proposal to set up a computerized state-wise vehicle tracking platform was cleared under the Nirbhaya Fund earlier this year in February with an approved funding of Rs 463.88 crore, but so far no amount has been spent.

The setting up of fast-track special courts for which Rs 767.25 crore were proposed, no approval of funds has been given so far. The proposal was cleared in November 2018.

Another project which has failed to take off is the setting up of Organized crime Investigative Agency (OCIA) for which Rs 83.20 crore were proposed in 2015. No funds have been approved for the agency.

A sum of Rs 110.35 crore demanded by the ministry to implement a Safe City Project by the Commissionerate of Police in Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar in Odisha is however pending approval for the past two years.

The bulk of the corpus has been spent by the Union Home Ministry. The only project where the funds have been utilized effectively is the setting up of Emergency Response Support System which was proposed in 2014. Out of Rs 321.69 crore approved, Rs 292.15 crore have been spent.

Apart from the Home Ministry, the Railways, Department of Justice and the Ministry of Women and Child Development have also undertaken projects with funds from the corpus that are in various stages of implementation.

On the One Stop Centre (OSC) that is being set up by Ministry of Women and Child Development, only Rs 49.87 crore have been spent out of approved fund of Rs 867.74 crore. The amount released for the project approved in 2015 is Rs 288.88 crore.

–IANS

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