BHUBANESWAR:Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday claimed that the law and order situation was peaceful in the State but rising Left Wing Extremism (LWE) remained a sensitive issue in five districts.
There has been substantial improvement in the overall containment of Maoist situation in the State, the Chief Minister said while replying to the discussion on demands for grants of the Home and General Administration Departments. However, the situation remains sensitive in Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Balangir districts, he said.
The Chief Minister said the intensity of Maoist activities is on the decline now as there is perceptible improvement in the situation in Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Sundargarh and Nayagarh during the year.
Stating that the pro-active action taken by security forces resulted in arrest of 71 LWE Maoists including the most-wanted Sabyasachi Panda, leader of Odisha Maobadi Party and Tella Anil Kumar, State committee member of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee, Naveen said police recovered a record number of 143 weapons including 34 quality weapons in 2014.
Besides, 99 LWE cadres and armed militants surrendered in the State during 2014 including Nachika Linga, leader of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, he said.
Stating that connectivity plays an important role in restricting LWE activities, the Chief Minister said significant steps have been taken for construction and improvement of roads and bridges in these areas. Further, to extend mobile connectivity to general public in LWE affected areas, steps were being taken to install 253 mobile towers.
Naveen said to keep vigil on the long coastline of Odisha, 18 marine police stations have been made functional. “Joint coastal security exercises are being carried out with West Bengal to improve coordination among police, Coast Guard and Indian Navy and achieve seamless operation at the time of need. A similar kind of exercise will be jointly conducted with Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Referring to the ensuing Nabakalebara festival of Lord Jagannath, Naveen said steps are being taken to provide service and amenities on a large scale to lakhs of devotees who would visit Puri during the festival.
While 263 fire stations were already operational, the Chief Minister announced opening of 72 new fire stations in the State.