In the aftermath of the May 25 naxal attack, the UPA government is pushing for development proposals stuck in a maze of bureaucratic hurdles in the area. Sticking to its two-pronged strategy — anti-naxal operations and development — to tackle the Maoist menace, the government has given a clear direction to the appropriate ministries to expedite all development proposals and execute ongoing projects on priority basis to counter the popular support enjoyed by the naxals in tribal regions.
Sources said the planning commission had prepared a Cabinet note seeking approval of Rs 1,000 crore as additional grant for 82 naxal-affected areas. The annual allocation will be distributed to states under the Integrated Action Plan to build roads, schools, health centres and drinking water facilities.
“Each of the 82 districts hit by naxal violence will receive a base grant of Rs 5 crore. The remaining amount of Rs 590 crore will be distributed considering the requirements and status of the development proposal. The worst-affected areas will be given additional grant by the Planning Commission,” sources said. Sukma, one of the worst-affected districts of Chhattisgarh will be given additional funds for development work in the backward tribal villages. The proposal will be put up before the Cabinet next week.
The government has also asked the Ministry of Health to finalise the list of Left Wing Extremist (LWE) districts affected by malaria. The proposal will also include raising a fleet of mobile health units.
Sources said the ministry has been asked to take up a special project to induct more mobile health units in the 12th plan to make inroads among the people.
It is learnt that the government has also asked BSNL to expedite the setting up of 2,199 mobile towers in the worst-affected districts, using alternative fuel like solar energy. BSNL has been asked to include the Darbha Ghat region in the proposal, where the May 25 ambush took place. The 12-km stretch from Tongpal to Keslur has no cellphone connectivity. According to an official, the proposal was first discussed and considered in a meeting on February 18, 2013. BSNL was assigned the work on nomination basis, and the Department of Telecom has been asked to ensure funding from the Universal Service Obligation Fund. Laying of transmission lines will also be pushed.