SAMBALPUR: SAMBALPUR district, which was earlier excluded from the pilot project launched by the Centre to tackle Naxalism by providing special security related expenditure (SRE), may now have reasons to cheer.
If official reports are to be believed, the district has finally been included under the project entitling it to receive the SRE. Although 15 districts in the State had been identified as Naxal-infested and were getting SRE, six districts including Sambalpur had been excluded.
Initially, nine districts comprising Rayagada, Malkangiri, Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Nabarangpur,Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh were enlisted to receive SRE. Later the State Government recommended the names of Sambalpur, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal, Jajpur and Nayagarh.
It is learnt that while the Centre is yet to consider the inclusion of all the six districts, Sambalpur has been included and this was conveyed at the meeting convened by Union Cabinet Secretary at New Delhi recently, which was also attended by State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and the Director General of Police. The exclusion of the district was for the first time reported in this paper and the State Government was blamed for its failure to present the case of Sambalpur.
Additional funds under SRE would help the police strengthen its intelligence further besides facilitating several development projects.
Contacted Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar said that while he is yet to receive any communication regarding the matter, he admitted that the funds will help them improve mobility and make the force more effective to combat Naxalism.
He said that it will also help them pay 15 percent extra salary to personnel working in Naxal-prone areas, as declared by the State Government. Even the surrender policy launched for Naxals would become more lucrative, he added.