AHMEDABAD: Chief Minister Raman Singh today admitted that the problem of Naxalism is putting a huge dent into the GDP of Chhattisgarh, as the government has to spend huge amount of money towards rebuilding infrastructure and inducting police personnel.
Singh was in the city today as his government has decided to provide training to 35 of its senior officers at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to understand the nuances of infrastructure development under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The three-day training workshop began today at the premier institute here. During his interaction with the media, Singh admitted that infrastructure development in his state is a big challenge due to the Naxal problem.
"Naxal problem left a huge impact on our GDP. When I took over as the CM, there were around 23,000 policemen in our force. We had to invest a huge amount in recruiting new force, which now stands at around 67,000 personnel," said Singh while replying to a query.
"In Chhattisgarh, it is a monumental task for us to build infrastructure (due to naxalism). For example, to build a 17-km long road, it took two years and lives of five jawans. It takes too much of money to rebuild roads and bridges, which Naxals frequently blow up," said Singh.
On his vision for Chhattisgarh and ways to tackle the problem, Singh stated that development holds the key to it.
"Our main focus is to increase connectivity. I firmly believe that connectivity will pave way for development and eventually benefit those who are against us. Development is the answer to Naxal problem," said Singh.
According to Singh, he will visit various other states, including non-BJP ruled ones, to learn the best practices and apply it in his state to strengthen it.
"Just like Gujarat, me and my team will visit other states to study their development model and apply them in our state. In Gujarat, I am interested to know more about Riverfront project, GIFT city, river linking project and power reforms. It will help us to apply at our end," said Singh.