New Delhi: An information kiosk and behind it a smiling policeman waiting to help out with directions, a roomy area with comfortable chairs and tables for visitors, separate cubicles for women visitors - welcome to Delhi Police's new initiative to get people-friendly.

The Tughlaq Road police station in central Delhi is getting a makeover as part of Delhi Police's efforts to shelve its dour image.

It has been chosen as the first police station to be upgraded in the national capital given its historical significance of having the first information reports (FIRs) of Mahatma Gandhi's and Indira Gandhi's assassinations. Other police stations in the capital are to follow suit.

A look at this police station shows the 'grand' change.

So, no more chairs with torn cushions, rickety tables, musty environs, or forbidding-looking police personnel. Instead, as you enter the Tughlaq Road police station, two polite police personnel are waiting to answer your queries inside an arched room on the left. A large blue board on the right has directions to the various rooms written in bold print, while potted plants are placed everywhere to give the entire area a fresh look.

The Reporting Room, or where people can file their complaints or FIRs, is a large roomy area with comfortable chairs and a few tables. For women who would want privacy while speaking out their problems, there is a cubicle on the left with a woman police officer inside.

To make the place look brighter, the ceiling has been laid with grayish tiles interspersed with LED lights.

"We have decided to renovate and standardise the police stations in order to make the environment congenial and comfortable for the general public as well as police officers," Special Commissioner (Traffic) Sudhir Yadav said.

"To start with, we have chosen the Tughlaq Road police station. Moreover, it has a significant historical background," Yadav said of the station that was established in 1941.

Many tourists from India and abroad visit the Tughlaq Road police station to view 'FIR No. 68', which was filed when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, as well as 'FIR No. 241' that was filed after Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards.

As part of the upgrade, the police station has also got an amphitheatre for briefings which can also be used as a waiting area in case there is a crowd.

The corridor also has information panels, including pictures, explaining how to file FIRs, as well as about the special SMSes and toll free numbers to inform about unattended suspicious looking baggage and suspicious looking characters and numbers that women can call up to complain about sexual harassment.

To help tourists, the station is planning to keep maps of Delhi and information brochures, Yadav said. More CCTV cameras, upgraded computers and LCD panels are also on the anvil.

"The building is being given a facelift and enough space is being created to make it more convenient for the public," said Yadav, adding that all the police stations in the capital would be gradually upgraded. "The other police stations will be given similar transformation," he said. The national capital has 150 police stations.

The renovation was begun a month ago. The first phase is over and in the second phase, the barricading and the living area of the constables will be improved. Delhi Police declined to say how much the upgrade has cost.


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