Bhubaneswar, Aug 19:
Odisha government has decided to construct six more jails in the state at a cost of Rs 36 crore to deal with the problem of overcrowding in existing jails.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved a proposal in this regard at a high level meeting recently held at the State Secretariat.
The jails will be set up at Soro in Balasore district, Patrapur in Ganjam district, Laxmipur and Kashipur in Rayagada district, Kantabanji in Balangir district and MV 79 in Malkangiri district.
The State government also approved a proposal to set up open air jails at Nilgiri in Balasore and Jujumura in Sambalpur at a cost of Rs 12 crore each.
Now, the state has only one open-air prison- Biju Patnaik Jail, located at Jamujhari on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
According to the Home department records, the State now has 86 jails where 12,867 inmates including 306 Maoists have been lodged.
The issue of overcrowding of jails has been discussed in the Assembly several times.
Official sources said the Government would set up State Prison Academy to improve the expertise and capability of the officers by providing latest training at a cost of Rs 8 crore.
It has also been decided to improve the nutritional value of the food provided to the inmates and the government is mulling over the proposal to hike the expenditure on food.
Prisoners are provided vocational training on textile, carpentry, candle making, preparation of the fly ash bricks and agriculture.
A proposal has been cleared to impart training on computer for which the National Institute of Open School has been roped in. Besides, in these six new jails, computer training will also be imparted to the inmates.
While there are provisions of video conference in 15 jails, it will be extended to 15 more jails.
Scanners will be fitted in some of the major jails and high mast light fitted for security reasons.