Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 27:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said 253 mobile towers would be set up in the Maoist-prone areas of Odisha this year. He was replying to the discussion on demands for grants of the Home department in the House.
Talking about anti-Maoist operations in the state, the Chief Minister said the police had arrested 71 Maoist, including top cadres like Sabyasachi Panda and T Anil Kumar, in 2014. During the operation against the red rebels, police had seized 34 state-of-the-art weapons and 143 other arms and ammunitions.
Stating that the government had made adequate security arrangements for this year’s Nabakalebara, Patnaik said a hi-tech police control room would be set up at Puri during the mega festival. To keep a watch on criminal activities during the festival, the district intelligence wing has been strengthened.
Replying to a question on the inordinate delay in providing passports to the people, Patnaik said the state government had decided to introduce online verification for quick and easy passport services.
“Since it is found that the delay is due to the verification of criminal antecedents of the applicants, a decision has been taken for online police verification which would be much quicker and make it easier for the applicants to receive their passports,” he added.