Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, who also holds the Home portfolio, has said that the naxal problem in the State is on the wane.
There were only around 15 to 20 naxalites active in the State, some of whom, according to him, were mercenaries.
Addressing presspersons in Gulbarga on Tuesday, Mr. Ashok said the intensive combing operations in naxal-affected areas in the State had paid rich dividends. The constant pressure put on the naxalites kept them on the run. The mercenaries masquerading as naxalites were also slowly deserting the hardcore naxals. “I am confident the number of naxals active in the State will come down to single digit soon.”
To a question, Mr. Ashok said a new recruitment policy for police personnel had been sent to the government for approval.
The proposed policy would ensure filling of vacancies in the Police Department without having to wait for the Finance Department’s nod. At any given time, there were around 18,000 vacancies in the Police Department despite the recruitments made by the government. This was due to the delay in getting approval from the Finance Department, Mr. Ashok said.
Mr. Ashok, who also holds the Transport portfolio, said that for the first time in the State, with the Rs. 30 crore assistance provided by the World Bank, global positioning system (GPS) had been introduced in public transport buses in Mysore. In the first phase, 500 buses had been brought under GPS.
He said the GPS system would enable authorities to keep a tab on the movement of buses.
To a question, Mr. Ashok said the government proposed to bring all long-distance buses under GPS in phases. Mr. Ashok, who went around the city in the newly introduced hi-tech city service buses ‘Nrupatunga’, said that the service was popular among people. The government, which had introduced hi-tech city service buses first in Tumkur and later extended it to Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya and Gulbarga, now proposed to introduce it in all district headquarters.