Karnataka Police are mulling establishing fuel pump stations run by prisoners across the state on lines of Andhra Pradesh, sources in the Prison Department confirmed on Wednesday.
The department has already sent a proposal to open the fuel pump stations in the premises of five state prisons adjacent to the national and state highways. After implementing this project, the prison department will replicate this in other places. Sources said that the concept is the brainchild of Karnataka Additional DGP Prisons Alok Mohan and he is keen on implementing the project.
Sources said that in the first phase, the pumping stations will be opened in Parappana Agrahara Central Prison of Bengaluru, Central Prisons of Mysuru, Ballary, Belagavi and Dharwad. The land of half an acre has already been identified here. Shivamogga, Kalaburagi and Vijayapura Central Jails will also have petrol bunks in the later stages.
The department is hopeful that the project will provide financial impetus to the prison’s department as well as also benefit the prisoners. The prison department is intending to utilize the land lying vacant and waste in the outer area of prisons which are very close to the highways.
The prison department wants to utilize the vacant land for commercial purposes. Undivided Andhra Pradesh state was the first to start the stations on the property of prisons run by prisoners. Presently, 26 fuel stations are being run by the prisoners through the department in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.
The Karnataka Prison Department officers have gone to both the states to study the project. After detailed research, the proposal has been sent to the government, sources said.
The Karnataka prisons department runs a bakery, manufactures readymade clothes, artifacts, printing press, sanitizer and other products through prisoners. The work is being distributed as per the interest of the jail inmates. The units run by prisoners have manufactured lakhs of masks and hundreds of liters of sanitizer liquid during the Covid pandemic. It was supplied to various government departments in Karnataka.
The prison department is now all set to launch the new project of starting the bunks. There is huge waste land belonging to nine Central Prisons of the state and they are located very close to highways.