Bhubaneswar,12/6 ( Odisha Samachar)-Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik met the Hon’ble Union Minister of Home Affairs Shri Rajnath Singh in New Delhi today. Hon’ble Chief Minister informed the Hon’ble Union Minister that deployment of additional security forces has become essential at Odisha-Chhatisgarh Border to counter the movement of Maoists into Odisha. Further, he mentioned that there is an urgent need to augment deployment of forces in Nuapada and Malkangiri districts to sustain anti-Maoist operations. He impressed upon the Union Minister to deploy atleast one more battalion of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) on the Odisha side of Chhatisgarh border. Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that the 8 seater helicopter provided by the Pawan Hans Helicopter Ltd. (PHHL) at present for anti-Maoist operations has limited
operational utility and urged upon the Hon’ble Union Minister to place two dedicated military helicopters, one each at Bhubaneswar and Koraput, to act as a force multiplier and to aid emergency evacuation. Hon’ble Chief Minister raised the issue of charges for deployment of CAPF in anti- Maoist operations, which is shown as outstanding against the State. Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that Government of Odisha has created trained and deployed over 30000 police personnel by incurring substantial expenditure from State’s resources to contain Maoist menace. He added that containment of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is a collective responsibility of the Union and the States and accordingly the Union Government should reconsider their existing policy and bear the entire cost of deployment of CAPF for anti- Maoist operations. Hon’ble Chief Minister brought it to the notice of the Hon’ble Union Minister that an amount of Rs.172 crore for the period from 2005-06 to 2013-14 is still pending for release to the State under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.
He urged upon the Union Minister to expedite the release of the pending amount early. Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that the work on construction of Gurupriya Bridge to connect cut off areas of Malkangiri to the main land is progressing fast. He stated that Government of India have, however, released only Rs.45 crore till date against the approved cost of Rs.187.25 crore and urged upon the Union Minister to ensure release of the balance amount for this critical bridge. Similarly, the Union Government should take up the matter with Andhra Pradesh regarding early construction of Motu bridge across the Sileru river on Ranchi-Vijaywada highway connecting Malkangiri district with Andhra Pradesh as this is of vital importance for anti-Maoist operations.
Hon’ble Chief Minister apprised the Hon’ble Union Minister that State Government has already submitted a list of 47 road projects in 9 LWE districts totalling 864.22 KMs with an estimated cost of Rs.1620.10 crore and impressed upon the Union Minister to expedite approval and release of funds for these road projects. Further expressing concern at the delay in installation of mobile towers, Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that BSNL Odisha has submitted the revised media plan to include 108 VSAT and 168 Micro Link connectivity. He urged upon the Hon’ble Union Minister to pursue the matter with Deptt. of Telecommunications for sanction of additional funds and early installation of the required mobile towers, considered necessary to contain Maoist menace in the State.
Hon’ble Union Minister appreciated the concerns expressed by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha and assured complete support to Odisha. The Union Minister assured that one additional battalion of CAPF will be deployed on Odisha side of Chhatisgarh border at the earliest and that Odisha will receive priority in the placement of dedicated military helicopters, which are expected to be procured by November 2015. On waiving off CAPF deployment charges, Hon’ble Union Minister appreciated the concern of the Odisha and expressed that this is a universal request from all the Maoist affected States. He agreed that he will take up the matter with Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to ensure release of balance funds under RRP-I to ensure completion of Gurupriya bridge at the earliest. The Union Minister also agreed to pursue the matter with Government of Andhra Pradesh for early construction of Motu bridge across Sileru river. Hon’ble Union Minister stated that the balance funds due to the State Government under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme will be released on priority. He added that the Union Home Ministry will pursue the matter with the Deptt. of Telecommunications for early installation of mobile towers as per the revised proposal submitted by BSNL, Odisha. On the issue of 47 road projects under RRP-II, the Union Minister informed that they are in the process of firming up the proposals received from different States and that further action will be taken after seeking approval of the Union Cabinet.