Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has announced a prison package worth Rs5.5 billion besides revamping 127-year-old jail manual dating back to 1894, at Central Jail Kot Lakhpat on Wednesday.
He also announced a 60-day remission in sentences of prisoners on the Eid Miladul Nabi (PBUH) and various other facilities for jail inmates. Buzdar underscored that the protection of prisoners’ human rights would be ensured along with the transformation of prisoners as useful citizens of society.
He highlighted that prisoners would also be allowed to have mattresses, blankets and pillows while geysers would be installed in all jails in winters. Alongside, news and entertainment channels would be aired through cable networks on LED TVs, he added and disclosed that air coolers, exhaust fans, LED lights and additional fans would be installed in jails to save inmates from harsh weather conditions.
Similarly, every prisoner will be given a monthly amount from the sale of manufactured products with the cooperation of industries. “Poor and juvenile inmates will also be provided facility of public call office for making contact with their families and women prisoners will be provided with all necessary facilities and their children up to the age of six years will also be provided education, recreational facilities and a daycare centre.
The chief minister said the nutritional needs of the children would also be focused and juvenile inmates protection would be ensured.
“Sports and other recreational facilities will also be arranged with the collaboration of the Punjab Sports Board and Punjab Prisons Foundation,” he said.
Ambulance for every prison to shift the inmates in case of emergency will also be provided,” he maintained.
The CM said all the prisons would be gradually shifted on solar energy to overcome the problem of load-shedding and power outages.
Chief Minister said a comprehensive system was being devised for the payment of challan and Diyat every year in the Holy month of Ramazan so that inmates involved in petty cases could be benefited. Similarly, the poor and orphans would be extended free legal aid with the cooperation of the law and prosecution department.
He said a parole committee has been constituted for ensuring measures for the release of old handicapped and ailing inmates so they could also be benefitted. He said quality food items at fixed prices would be ensured at canteens inside jails. The service structure of the jails staff has been given special focus and a pay package has also been given to the jail staff on the eve of Ashra-e-Shan-e-Rehmatul-lil-Alameen.
Buzdar also announced a prisons security allowance equivalent to one additional basic pay costing Rs2.7 billion on this package.
CM also approved to upgrade the posts of jail warden, head warden and chief warden. He also announced 21 operational vehicles for the prisons department.
The CM also announced to give two prison vans to every jail and provision of 72 vans. The existing 287 prison vans were being repaired and fans, exhaust fans and new seats were being installed in prisons vans.
Earlier, the chief minister chaired a meeting at his office to review proposals for the regularisation of Katchi Abadis. SMBR briefed about the regularisation of Katchi Abadis. Chief Secretary, BOR member and others attended the meeting.
The CM directed that the cabinet body standing commission for legislation should submit comprehensive recommendations after a detailed review.
The recommendations will be presented before the provincial cabinet for a final decision and all legal requirements will be fulfilled, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2021.
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