BHUBANESWAR: THE State Government has decided to raise a special force for providing security to vital power generating stations most of which are in Naxalite-dominated areas.
Many of these power stations are now guarded by private security personnel. Official sources said the Water Resources department has been asked to raise its own force to provide security to the seven hydro-power generation units located mostly in Maoist-affected districts.
The Energy department has been asked to provide security at thermal power stations. The Home department will provide logistic support.
The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting presided over by Home Secretary T.K. Mishra today. It was decided that the State should raise its own force for the security of power stations instead of depending on Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) or Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). None of the seven major hydro-power generation stations has foolproof security arrangements.
The Government also decided to instal closed-circuit cameras at entry points of the power stations to monitor movement in the restricted zones. The Government would also take up security concerns of thermal power projects which mostly faced threat from the displaced people.
At least 13 new thermal power projects are coming up in the State. The hydel power projects at Balimela in Malkangiri district and Katiguda in Koraput district do not have adequate security.
The nearest police station to Katiguda is at Mukhiguda, nearly 60 km away.