Spelling cheers, the Maharashtra government has decided to slash the working hours for all women police personnel in the state from the current gruelling 12-hour long duties to a manageable 8-hour shift daily, top officials said on Friday.

The decision was announced by Director General of Police Sanjay Pandey and welcomed across the police and political spectrum.

Lauding the initiative, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule said this would help policewomen balance better their duties at home with families and the Police Department.

She thanked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil for the decision that would benefit the women cops.

Incidentally, in 2018, the Mumbai Police had implemented 8-hour shifts in police stations after a pilot project launched in 2016, and even regular weekly offs were being given to all policemen in the city, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maharashtra has a police strength of around 200,000, including a little more than 15,000 policewomen, spread across the 36 districts, with the largest chunk of nearly one-third in Mumbai alone.