PESHAWAR: Although the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has allocated a massive Rs248 million to increase security in at least 11 jails in the province, it has yet to take steps to provide the inmates with electricity. In the 2015-16 budget, provincial government has allocated Rs248 million for security improvement. The amount could be used to set up control rooms, install CCTV cameras, explosive detecting scanners and other such purposes.
The provincial government even invited proposals and suggestions from various firms in this respect. However, some of the firms and security experts told the provincial government to give preference to the provision of electricity to jails as the prisons, just like residential and commercial areas, were experiencing hours of outages. The officials in the prison department confirmed that after the Bannu jail break in 2012 and DI Khan in 2013, high-ranking authorities, including the chief minister, assured setting up solar electricity systems in all jails but these promises have yet to materialise.
A junior government employee at Central Prison Peshawar confirmed power outages were taking place in the jail. He said there are reports about the installation of a solar-power system but it would not be for electricity connections inside the barracks. Solar electricity will be meant for offices and accommodation of officials and some of the corridors with a view to keep an eye on prisoners to keep them from escaping.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2015.