SAMBALPUR: In a bid to strengthen the security of Hirakud Dam, there is a proposal to deploy Odisha Industrial Security Force (OISF) at the dam site. Sambalpur police has moved the State Government in this regard.
The OSIF has been created for protection and security of industrial establishments owned by State Government, Private and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), autonomous institutions and certain other bodies. Apart from meeting the critical security needs of industries and vital installations, especially those located in Maoist-affected areas, the newly created force will provide further impetus to the process of industrialisation, growth and investment in the State.
Sambalpur SP Akhilesvar Singh said the proposal is pending with the Home department and it has been proposed to deploy two companies of OISF at the dam site and strengthen security system. The proposal also includes installation of electronic drop gate on both sides of the dam and CCTV camera besides introduction of patrolling of the reservoir with mechanised boats, he added.
Singh disclosed that the proposal was taken up by the Home department and a meeting over the matter was held on August 12.
Although there is security arrangement at the Dam site, the personnel are unarmed and considering the sensitivity of the place and its strategic location, there is a need to upgrade the security arrangement, he said.
Deployment of a dedicated force would help in augmenting the security and the proposal would materialise soon. Moreover, it is learnt that officials from the department had recently visited the Dam to access the ground realities.
Hirakud Dam continues to be one of the major tourist attractions in the region. But with the Maoists making their presence felt in Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary on the fringes of the Hirakud Dam Reservoir, there has been a threat perception. Moreover, tourists visiting the Dam are not screened properly even though entry and photography at the Dam site is restricted.
While security of the Dam has always been a concern, there is no denying that unarmed security personnel will be of little help in case of organised intrusion. Perhaps with the growing threat perception, Sambalpur police has proposed to augment the security of the Dam.