GUWAHATI, June 14 � The Assam Government is yet to release funds meant for ration and medicine requirements of the prisoners lodged in all the 31 jails in the State this financial year, something that could directly affect prison management.
The Home department, according to sources, has already missed a couple of deadlines set for fund release this year and the jail authorities are still not clear about the situation that could affect its functioning directly.
Moreover, paucity of funds in the State exchequer has also kept on hold a number of reformation, construction and maintenance projects in various jails in Assam.
The delay in the release of funds due in the month of April itself has not only left the contractors (suppliers) worried, but forced the jail management to fear arrival of poor quality stuff.
�Maintaining the quality of food items in jails has always been a challenge for us. With no funds coming, there is a danger that the suppliers may compromise on the quality,� sources stated.
On the supply of medicines, sources said that the prisons in Assam, already facing shortage of medical staff including doctors, can only ill-afford any compromise on the health front.
Although in agreement with the Government to ensure perpetual supply, suppliers say it would be difficult to maintain the quality if the money under the �materials and supplies� head is not released.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Prisons department, while confirming the delay in release of funds, assured that the supply chain will not be allowed to get affected and the Government is aware of the problem.
�It is due to the indifferent attitude of the Government that prisoners in various jails in Assam still wear civil dress, which is a clear violation of the executive instruction of the Assam Jail Manual. We have not been able to meet the requirement of clothing and bedding of the jail inmates (convicts) but nobody seems to be worried,� a senior Prisons department official told The Assam Tribune.