50 inmates shifted, new construction project takes off in Model Central Jail Nahan of Himachal

A team headed by Chief Engineer Housing Board visited Nahan Jail, construction work speeds up and long awaited 2.50 crores expansion project gets nod after my Himachal and print media carried an article on the alarming situation in over crowded Model Central Jail Nahan.

After myHimachal and print media carried a story in its last issue regarding the alarming situation in over crowded Model Central Jail Nahan, virtually being managed by the 50 Home Guards deputed inside the Jail, state department of Prisons woke up and immediately ordered shifting of 50 prisoners to Kanda Jail [Shimla] from here, giving some relief to the Jail authorities which they were demanding since last two years.

Hectic activities were witnessed in the departments related with the Jail development projects during past six days. Construction activities have taken a boost and work on the 18 feet high and around 400 meter long security wall have reached near completion now.

A high level team of officers of state Housing Board led by Chief Engineer Satish Sood visited Nahan Jail on Saturday along with Superintending Engineer Ghanshyam Mishra, Executive Engineer Vipin Kaul and a large number of junior officers. Team took the stock of situation and finalized the plan for the construction of new Jail complex to house 110 more inmates. Chief Engineer Mr Sood asked officers to complete the proposed new complex within one year time by all means. When contacted Executive Engineer Mr Vipin Kaul told Himachal Plus that the work on the new project of around 2.5 crores would commence within one week time and keeping in view the urgent need of the Jail, construction work would be taken up on war footing.

Jail sources said that it was a rare occasion during past one decade that a senior officer of a rank of Chief Engineer has paid a visit to the Jail complex and ordered to start immediately the construction work which was awaited since past two years. Sources said that even after shifting 50 prisoners, nearly 360 inmates were still lodged the Jail having a capacity of 198. Despite all odds and neglect by authorities, Nahan Jail enjoys the old repute and prisoners from all parts of the state continue to reach here despite the fact that there were many Jails in the state including Kanda Model Central Jail [Shimla].

Though a victim of our political system, it was a premier Jail in Northern India which played a leading role in introducing Jail reforms as per recommendations of Human Right bodies working under UNO. During the conference of  Inspector Generals [Prisons] held in Bombay in 1960, this Jail found place in the list of few Indian Jails declared as Model Central Jails by government of India on the basis of infrastructure available to implement the Jail reforms. The Jail was having Printing Press, Khaddi weaving and Carpentry units besides producing vegetables on the large scale, since estate times.

This Jail came into lime light on the National level during emergency as top Jansangh leaders including former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar were lodged in this Jail. After taking over as Chief Minister of state in 1977, Shanta Kumar ordered to celebrate ‘Jail Sudhar Divas’ in Nahan Jail.

On this occasion he announced a number of Jail reforms for the welfare and rehabilitation of prisoners which were implemented in all the Jails of the state in a big way. At that time Himachal became first state in the North and second in the country after Kerla which implemented minimum wages for its inmates. The minimum wage was fixed at rupees 1.50 for unskilled, rupees 2.25 for semi skilled and rupees 3 per day for skilled workers involved in the productive works, which has now touched up to rupees 80 per day. Ceiling fans were erected in the barracks and serving of two time tea was ordered with many other improvements in the Jails for the first time in the Jail History of Northern India.

Working as district correspondent with The Tribune & Danik Tribune in Sirmour.

1 Comment

  • Well, Well , it seems that right kind of social activism without any personal motive can really make the difference! System seems to have woken up from deep slumber and is trying make things better at this correctional facility (oops).

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