After continuous follow up by the state prison department for the last 15 years, Palghar collector had allotted a 25 acres land, which is nearby the city, court, collector office, and government hospital. The land has been allotted near Umroli village, which is 6 kilometers away from the district headquarters.
Accused arrested from Palghar district would no longer have to travel 100 to 130 kilometers to Thane and Taloja Central Jail after they are sent on judicial custody with the new Palghar prison.
The demand for a jail in Palghar was started in 2006. Accused arrested by the police from Palghar district, having a population of 30 lakhs, were sent to Thane Central Jail. Thane Jail having a capacity of 804 inmates, used to be overcrowded with 3,500 and more inmates.
"At present the Thane jail has a population of 4,000 inmates, in which 1000 are from Palghar district. The situation was the same for many years. We kept demanding for the jail in the district. As, not only undertrials and convicts had to travel 100 to 130 kilometers to reach the court. But the family and kids who come for visit also had to travel the distance," said an official from the prison department.
Sources claimed that the authorities faced many issues in the allotment of the land. "Two times land was allotted 20 kilometers away from the city. The forest department intervenes and claimed it as their land. Also, many times the gram panchayat and locals use to oppose land nearby their village, as they think jails are dangerous for the village. However, this time it's in the city limits," the official added.
The jail will house prisoners from 29 police stations including 16 police stations in Palghar district and 13 police stations from Mira-Bhayandar Vasai-Virar (MBVV) commissionerate. The jail will resemble Taloja Central jail and provide residential quarters for prison staff.
Initially, the land will house jail and residential quarters for prison staff. Most jails have an in-house hospital. The land is close to Palghar court, collectorate and government hospital.
The central government has already given a fund of Rs 5 crore and sources claim that the state government will provide Rs 100 crore as soon as the work starts.
Harshad Ahhirao, Superintendent (SI) of Thane Central Jail, who is been following up the issue after he was posted with Thane Jail confirmed about the 25 acres land been allotted for the prison.