JAMMU : In a significant move, the Jammu & Kashmir Government has approved installation of towers of Harmonious Call Blocking System (T-HCBS) in all 14 jails of the Union Territory to prevent unauthorized communications from them.
The Union Territory’s Home Department has accorded Administrative Approval for installation of T-HCBS across all 14 jails of J&K for blocking 2G, 3G and 4G signals that could later also be suitable for 5G.
The proposal involves financial outlay of Rs 21. 26 crore. Of which, Rs 19.04 crore is one time cost and Rs 1.76 crore is recurring cost per annum on account of rent to passive infrastructure providers at the rate of Rs 26000 per Telecom Service Provider(TSP) per month per tower-HCBS) and Rs 0.56 crore on account of Annual Maintenance Charge at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per TSP per annum.
The installation of towers of a harmonious call blocking system would block incoming/outgoing calls, SMS’ and data services in prison premises.
“The Prisons Department should satisfy itself regarding the immediate use of these funds before drawal from Treasury and should not resort to idle parking in Bank Account,” officials said.
The terms and conditions outlined in the SOPs dated 21.06.2022, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India are adhered to in letter and spirit, an Order issued by Additional Chief Secretary R K Goyal, reads.
The funds shall be utilized for the purpose for which these have been released after fulfilling all codal formalities and no diversion/ re-appropriation at any level shall be allowed, officials said adding that Reasonability of rates and e-tendering shall be followed.
The codal formalities for making payment are to be done in line with the provisions of GFR-2017, they said adding the rates as well as the components of the project shall be as outlined by MHA in the SoPs.
It is pertinent to mention here that a cop was suspended for smuggling a mobile phone into a high security prison in Srinagar last year. Prior to that the Prison Department had confiscated mobile phones and SIM cards on multiple occasions. To prevent unauthorised communications, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directed had Jammu and Kashmir Home Department to install an effective jamming system.