Thursday, November 01, 2007

ORISSA: BRO to lay roads in Naxalite areas

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Oct. 31: The Border Road Organisation (BRO), will be entrusted with the task of laying roads in Naxalite areas of Malkangiri and Rayagada district where contractors are reluctant to take up such work fearing threat from the ultras.
In fact the same organisation has been asked to lay roads in 8 districts of the four Naxalite states of Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh revealed home ministry sources today. Orissa will also develop a holistic plan involving socio-economic measures, filling up of critical gaps and security related steps for Rayagada and Malkangiri districts within a fortnight said state home secretary Mr TK Mishra.
Decisions relating to the ultras affected areas were taken at a meeting attended by state home department officials, union joint secretary Mr Dinesh Singh and joint director Intelligence Bureau Mr DP Sinha today.

The holistic plan and approach for such areas was discussed in a threadbare manner with all the developmental department secretaries of the state.

Critical gaps in road connectivity, education, health, social security and food security were deliberated upon.

It was suggested that norms relating to old age pension, appointments of anganwadi workers, police constables and all other schemes should be made for candidates of these tribal dominated districts. Population norms linked to various schemes will also be relaxed since most of the Naxalite pockets are scattered over small hamlets. So be it PMGSY roads or digging of tube-wells or for that matter providing electricity connection the population norm needs to be dispensed with.
Officials of the state government iterated their demands for additional CRPF battalions and funds from the centre. They also wanted five more districts ~ Sambalpur, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur and Kandhamal to be included in the security related district funding programme. As far as the implementation of the holistic plan which is to begin on an experimental basis in Rayagada and Malkangiri, the state will fund it from its own resources. But if, required it can seek additional funds from the centre, said home department sources here today.

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