SP govt to ‘return’ prison dept its jail training institute
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The campus of SJTI was handed over to the Housing Department along with the Lucknow District Prison, Model Prison and Nari Bandi Niketan for developing Manyavar Kanshiram Eco (Green) Garden. The District Prison, Model Prison and Nari Bandi Niketan were razed, but SJTI building somehow escaped that fate. It happened due to a road which separates SJTI from the other jail buildings. However, the ownership of the campus and the SJTI building remained with the Housing Department.
"We are fortunate that SJTI was not demolished during the previous regime. It is the oldest training institute for Prison Department officials and employees in the country. It is the lone institute which covers three states — UP, Uttrakhand and Bihar," Minister for Prisons Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya said.
The SJTI was established in 1940 and the campus is spread over 10 acres.
"We have already started the proceedings for reclaiming SJTI from the Housing Department. Though SJTI still runs from the same building, technically the ownership is not with us," the minister added.
He also stated that due to the ownership issue, SJTI is facing several problems. "We don't have right to even whitewash the building. For even minor repairs, we have to seek permission from the Housing Department. The procedure is both lengthy and tardy. It is better if we get back the ownership of the SJTI. Ideally also, it should belong to the Prison Department," Singh said.
The transfer of SJTI building and campus from Housing Department to Prison Department has to be done through a Cabinet decision. "I am aware of the technicality and soon we will get it cleared from the Cabinet," Singh added.
The Prison Department is also planning to make better use of the SJTI campus and building. "We have planned to shift the Prison Headquarers to the SJTI campus. It does not have its own building and is running in rented space at PICUP Bhawan in Lucknow," Singh said.
After assuming power, the SP government had started utilising the space at memorials constructed during Mayawati regime. Already, a Parag milk booth and canteen has been set up in the building meant for public convenience near the Ambedkar Smarak in Gomti Nagar.
The Women Power Line functions from the administrative block of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal while the National Investigation Agency is also likely to get space for setting up its local office in one of the buildings of these memorials.