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The Telangana Prisons Department is planning to raise the number of petrol pumps operated by it across the state to 100 by the end of 2018, to provide employment to more number of former prisoners and also to make itself self-reliant. The department already operates 13 petrol pumps in different districts, manned by as many as 150 released prisoners and nearly 200 inmates (convicts undergoing sentences), besides former jail authorities. State-run oil companies are in the process of going for bids to procure private lands for setting up more petrol outlets on lease and will hand over them to the Telangana prisons department, a top official said. "We will open seven more petrol pumps in the next two months and the target is to run a total of 100 petrol pumps by the year end," Director General (Prisons and Correctional Services), V K Singh, told PTI. The country's first all-women petrol station run by released prisoners, was inaugurated at Chanchalguda Central Jail premises here in June last year. "There are plans to open few more all-women petrol outlets, but it depends on the locality. We are also taking into consideration the security aspect," Singh said. Out of the over 80 new petrol outlets coming up, it is planned that at least 25-30 per cent women are given employment at such bunks, he added. "Through the petrol pumps, we achieved Rs 10 crore profit in 2016-17 fiscal and we are expecting Rs 15 crore profit in the 2017-18 financial year," another senior prison official said. Petrol pumps are among the biggest contributor (of revenue generation) to the prisons department, he said. The first such petrol pump was set up near the Chanchalguda Central Prison here five years ago.
The released prisoners are paid Rs 12,000 every month, while the inmates are given over Rs 3,000 every month. "At the all-women petrol station, 25 released women prisoners are employed and they are paid Rs 12,000 every month," the official said. The department has plans to start 1,000 'village outlets' (selling products manufactured by inmates) in different villages across the state," Singh said. "Our objective is to become self-reliant and to give employment to all the ex-prisoners, single women and orphans and to curb crime. We hope that in the 2021 budget, the Jail Department will not have a need for budgetary allocations," he said. "We have a target of giving 3,000 jobs this year. We have also decided to provide employment to the victims- men and women- if they want to work with the prisons department," Singh added.