Centre slapped bill of Rs 2,907 crore on Odisha over deployment of Central forces

Bhubaneswar: the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has once again slapped a bill of Rs 2,907 crore for its immediate payment against charges towards deployment of Central forces in the Maoist area of the State.

The State Government is urging the Union Government to bear the deployment charges of Central paramilitary forces.
Besides eight CRPF and one CoBRA Battalion, eight BSF Battalions are also engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the State. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has time and again requested Union Minister Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Modi to waive the charges.

However, every year, bills are received by the State Government for payment of the dues for deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs); and the bill is rising year by year, said an official.

For last five years, the MHA has been sending the bills. By December 31, 2013, the demand was for Rs 1,096 crore, which went up to Rs 1,350 crore in December 2014 as the State Government was not paying the charges.

And by December 31, 2015, charges rose to Rs 2,010.70 crore; and in December 2016, the bill went up to Rs 2,474 crore. Now, it has escalated to Rs 2,907 crore.

The Odisha Government has said that over the years, it has created about 20,000 posts, mostly armed police cadre, to effectively deal with the Leftwing terrorism, for which there is a tremendous burden on the State exchequer.

There are 17 battalions of CMPFs deployed in 18 districts; and the State Government is repeatedly asking for two more battalions as there is hardly any Central force deployed in the border areas of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh is now having 56 CRPF battalions, sources said.

The Odisha Government is, therefore, urging the Centre to make equitable distribution of Central forces, funds, logistic support, assets, etc., among the States fighting the Maoist menace in order to prevent movement of the ultra from one State to another.

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