Delhi will soon get its fourth jail in Narela to house high-risk prisoners, with the Centre allocating Rs 120 crore for the prison complex modelled on the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, officials said on Friday.
”The idea behind the project is to ensure that those prisoners, who are in jail because of offences committed against the state, remain in isolation. Although there are isolation facilities in the other three jails in Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli, the new prison complex will solely house such prisoners who are a threat to society,” an official privy to the development said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will be allocating Rs 120 crore for the construction of this prison complex, he said. He said funds will also be sought from the Delhi government in the upcoming budget for the project. ”The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has allotted land for the jail in Narela. According to the rough plan, the prison will have 250 cells and has been modelled on the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” the official noted.
According to officials, the prison will also have reformative facilities like Yoga, a factory where inmates can engage themselves in making certain things, among others. ”The purpose of a jail is to serve as a reformation centre. This jail, even though it will house the likes of terrorists and gangsters, will have such facilities like yoga. We will soon chalk out a plan to have more of these engagements,” the official said.
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He, however, said the project is at a nascent stage and after the funds arrive from the Centre, the work on the project will be expedited.
Asked if the new prison will house high-profile prisoners from other neighbouring states as well, the official said, ”The priority is to house prisoners lodged in Delhi jails, but if we receive a request or some directions, it will have to be followed.”
Security features of the jail will include CCTV cameras, round-the-clock surveillance, isolation rooms with facilities to ensure that inmates do not interact much, high walls, and mobile jammers of superior technology to ensure that the prisoners do not get a whiff of the outside world.
Delhi has three prison complexes, namely Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli. All of these comprise central jails.
Tihar, which is considered one of the largest prison complexes in the world comprising nine central prisons, has a capacity to house 5,200 inmates, but 13,183 inmates are currently lodged in its different central jails.
Mandoli, which has six central jails, has a capacity of 1,050 but 2,037 inmates are currently staying there. Rohini, which has only one central jail, has a capacity of 3,776, but 4,355 inmates are lodged there, according to official data. Some of the high risk inmates lodged in these jails are Olympic silver medallist Sushil Kumar, conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar and Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik.