New Delhi: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday sought Centre’s support in developing better infrastructure in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas of the state at a review meeting on internal security called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah here.
Chief Minister sought the support of the Centre in early installation of mobile towers at 866 locations in LWE-hit areas and placement of a dedicated helicopter for the state. He suggested that railway connectivity projects to Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts be completed within 36 months. He said banking infrastructure needs to be set up in unbanked areas. He also sought that the pending `227 crore under the SRE scheme be released and the deployment charge of the Central Armed Police Forces be waived.
“I have raised three demands in the meeting. I demanded railway connectivity to Nabrangpur and Malkangiri districts. The state government will provide land free of cost for the project and bear half the project cost. I also demanded that banking facilities shall be provided in all Maoist-hit blocks. Steps should also be taken for better telecommunication services,” he said.
Patnaik apprised the Centre about the steps taken by the state government to counter Red menace. During 2018 and till August 15 this year, 26 LWE cadres have died in police action, 85 have been arrested and 35 have surrendered. The most redeeming feature in Odisha has been the dwindling mass support and reduction in the recruitment of local cadres. He also highlighted that pro-people, pro-tribal and pro-poor schemes along with 100 per cent electrification and improved access to health & education facilities have played a major role in containing LWE problem.
“Despite extremely hostile security environment, Odisha has successfully commissioned the Guripriya bridge to connect the cut-off area of Malkangiri district, which is now called ‘Swabhiman Anchal’. The state government has also rolled out a special package for the people of the area in terms of connectivity, healthcare, electrification and education, who are gradually integrating with the mainstream socio- economic and democratic activities,” the CM said.