Dehradun: Uttarakhand Police believe the way to keep cops vigilant during the graveyard shift is through their stomachs. Starting this Saturday, tea along with either a burger or patty would be served to policemen on duty between 1am and 3am. The move, top cops say, will not only ensure that cops turn up for duty but also keep them motivated to work in the biting cold during the dead of night. Police say the plan is fool-proof as cops on duty have been asked to inform the headquarters, if the vendor does not deliver them the snack and tea. 

The project is being introduced in Dehradun on a trial basis for a month. It would be reviewed after a month, when the police brass would decide if the pilot scheme can be continued and extended to other districts as well. 

The project is the brainchild of the police headquarters, which would award the contract to a local food vendor for the trial period. 

A three-member night inspection team along with the staff of the vendor will visit the pickets and key locations. While food is served, the inspection team will prepare its report of policemen skipping duty. 

DGP B S Sidhu told TOI, "It is extremely cold at night in Dehradun. The tea and snacks will provide some respite to the cops, braving the bone chilling cold." The top officer says it was a smart way keeping a tab cops on duty and the food distributor. 

"If any policeman on duty is not given the tea and snacks, he has been asked to inform his seniors about it. This will make the vendor responsible for the delivery snacks to each and every policemen on duty. Similarly, the night inspection team after visiting all key localities will prepare a list of cops missing from duty," he added. 

Recently, chief minister Harish Rawat and some senior police officers had conducted a late night surprise check at several locations in the city, where they found some constables missing from duty. The erring policemen have been suspended and some have been sent to police lines for dereliction of duty. "In an effort to ensure vigil at night, we have opted for this midnight treat move," said Sidhu.

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