Urban policing in three more cities

Keeping an eye on the forthcoming elections, the state government on Sunday decided in-principle to introduce commissionerate of police system in Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur.

Currently, the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are under the commissionerate of police system that was introduced in 2008 after the enactment of Odisha Urban Police (OUP) Act, 2003.

“Officers in the rank of DIG or IG would head the proposed commissionerate of police system. Berhampur municipal corporation and adjoining areas in Ganjam district, Sambalpur municipal corporation and adjoining areas and Rourkela municipality and its adjoining industrial areas would come under it,” said a senior police officer.

The government would soon issue an executive order. It need not seek approval of the assembly since the OUP Act, 2003, is an enabling legislation for such matters, sources said.

Recently, the government announced to upgrade Sambalpur municipality into a corporation. “Considering the profile and growth of the three cities, the government has decided to improve policing there,” he said.

Opposition Congress found little meaning behind the announcement. “Instead of improving the law and order situation in the state, the government hurriedly decided to start commissionerate of police system in three cities to gain political mileage ahead of elections. I don’t think it will change policing there,” senior Congress leader Narsingha Mishra said.

Though the commissionerate of police system was introduced in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in 2008, the system still reels under acute shortage of manpower.

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