Odisha seeks Centre’s nod for raising spl police battalion

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has sought the Centre’s sanction for raising a special police battalion exclusively for strengthening security along its 480-kilometre-long coastline, a senior official said today.

A proposal in this regard has already been sent to the Union Home Ministry by the state’s Home Department recently in view of the growing need for guarding the long coastline, the officer said on condition of anonymity.

“Setting up of the proposed India Reserve Battalion (IRB) will go a long way in supplementing the efforts of the marine police in tightening security along the coast,” he said.

Stating that several other coastal states have been sanctioned IRB units to strengthen security along the coasts, officials said such a battalion was also required in Odisha.

“Odisha also needs an IRB unit to ensure effective vigil along its long coastline as the marine police stations are not properly equipped for the purpose,” he said.

The state government has also urged the Centre to sanction two more marine police stations as some stretches, particularly in Balasore and Puri, remain porous.

At present, the state has 18 marine police stations.

While five marine police stations have become fully functional at Paradip, Balaramgadi, Dhamra, Jamboo and Arjipalli in the first phase, the rest 13 are yet to be fully equipped.

The marine police stations keep a watch on illegal activities like arms smuggling, infiltration, unauthorised fishing, entry of anti-nationals through sea route and guard vital installations along the coast, he said.

It is necessary to set up a marine police station each in Balasore and Puri districts for which a proposal has been sent to the Centre, the officer said.

Exclusive jetties are also required for marine police in the state to ensure proper functioning of the interceptor boats whch are in operation, he said.

The state government has also urged the Centre for puting in place three jetties on the Odisha coast.

Proposals have been sent to set up the jetties at Bhusandeswar in Balasore, Sipasarubali in Puri and Maluda in Khurda Districts.

The state government has also urged the Home Ministry to sanction funds towards expenses incurred in consumption of diesel/petrol by interceptor boats as the state is not in a position to bear such a huge expenditure, he said.

The Centre has also been urged to provide funds for maintenance of the interceptor boats, the officer said.

The marine police stations in the state also require seaworthy boats of different sizes and designs with the capability of entering the sea during adverse weather conditions.