Petrol station run by prisoners on the anvil in Kozhikode

As part of finding new vocational opportunities for prisoners, the district jail is planning to lease out about 25 cents of its land to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up a fuel station near Puthiyara road in the city. It will be the fifth of such joint projects initiated in Kerala, to be managed by IOC by employing prisoners.

Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services Rishi Raj Singh, who was at the district jail on Sunday for the inauguration of welfare projects, held discussions with IOC officials about the new venture and visited the spot.

Mr. Singh said the project was found feasible and would be implemented in the city with the support of IOC.

IOC officials said construction was under way in some of the already identified spots in Kerala. On completion, there would be altogether five petrol pumps covering the open jail in Kasaragod district, Kannur Central Jail, Viyyur Central Jail and Poojappura Central Jail, they said.

Officials at the district jail here said similar petrol pumps opened in other parts of the country were effective in generating a decent income for prisoners. Though IOC would be responsible for managing the project, labourers for the 24-hour functioning of the units would be provided by the jail, they said.

The Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services Department approved the proposal as it would give a chance to prisoners to interact with the public, thus meeting some of the objectives of the Correctional Services. IOC also came in support of the project as it was convinced of the effect of such projects on prisoners.

The rent of the land to be paid by IOC to the Prisons Department would be used for paying the wages of prisoners.

The hindu
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