LAHORE: In a massive effort to boost intelligence and surveillance in the fight against terror, the Punjab police’s Counter Terrorism Department is building regional offices in three more districts.
These offices are under construction in Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan and will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs980 million, according to documents available with The Express Tribune.
The project summary documents show that CTD Sahiwal office will be constructed at New Farid Town Scheme No. 3 at a cost of Rs380 million while the CTD Faisalabad and Dera Ghazi Khan offices will be built at a cost of Rs348.79 million and Rs251 million, respectively.
CTD Additional IG Rai Tahir told The Express Tribune the work on the projects was in progress at a fast pace and was likely to complete by June next year.
The projects are part of the CTD restructuring to provide adequate capacity for intelligence gathering, surveillance, undertaking counter terrorism operations, investigation and prosecution of terrorists and extremists.
According to the Punjab Police website, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which was set up in 1995 under the CID Manual, 1937, was renamed as Counter Terrorism Department on July 21, 2010. The force has now developed into a department having its regional offices all over Punjab.
The CTD is authorised to collect, collate and disseminate information regarding sectarian activists, militants, terrorists as well as seminaries. The force also keeps tabs on Afghan-trained militants, returned Afghan prisoners and suspects on the 4th Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
Justifying the construction of the CTD regional offices, a senior officer said that keeping in view the growing threat of terrorism, a dire need was felt to equip the force with necessary equipment and infrastructure.
At a high-level meeting in May 2015, CTD officials had talked about their reservations of terrorist attacks on their establishments and personnel to exact revenge in retaliation of the force’s operations.
They voiced their desire to build high-security and bombproof divisional headquarters through top class and well-reputed firms that were duly pre-qualified.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave the go-ahead for the proposal back then.
The cost of the projects, being executed by the communications and works department, has been sponsored by police and Punjab Home Department.
The PC-I document states the annual operating and maintenance cost after completion of the project was 2% of the capital cost. Demand and supply analysis has been prepared by the Punjab Building Department.
The financial plan, mode of financing and cash flow has to be maintained through the annual development programme. The project will be completed within 24 months from the date of its initiation as the cost will increase because of rising raw material prices.
The building design prepared by the Lahore chief architect states the CTD regional offices will have a single storey administration block, reinforced cement concrete boundary wall with razor wires, a single-storey police station, a detention centre with a basement and double-storey barracks as well. These offices will also include accommodations for officers of BPS-15 till BPS-19.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2017.
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