Thursday, July 30, 2009

Road revamp to link rebel strongholds

ANKUSH SINGH


Jamshedpur, July 29: Decks have been cleared for construction of a much-awaited road link between the Naxalite dens of Dumaria and Kuwali in the Ghatshila sub-division of East Singhbhum.

The road construction department was entrusted with the task of completing the project, hanging in balance for the past one-and-a-half years. The road, involving an investment of Rs 14 crore, will facilitate the movement of patrol teams in Naxalite pockets of the sub-division.

“The state has approved the development of the 28km stretch. Tenders for the job will be floated after the monsoon,” said executive engineer of road construction department (Jamshedpur division) Anil Singh Vijay. He said the road project had failed to take off due to differences between the rural engineering works (REO) and the road construction department.

“While the REO had been demanding that it be awarded the project, the road construction department maintained that it would handle the important project much better,” said an official.

However, now the state has asked the road construction department to execute it.

Significantly, the area, in which the road will come up is a Naxalite-dominated zone. A road will boost connectivity between the Dumaria police station and Kuwali, a remote village. At present, the area only has a kuccha road, where patrolling on vehicles is prohibited because of possible booby traps.

“The proposed road will ease connectivity between Dumaria police station and Dublabera and Rangamati where we have our pickets, which are over 20km away. In the absence of proper roads, police have had to face difficulties,” said N.S. Dadel, officer incharge of Dumaria police station.

The officer said that they had to walk on foot in the absence of metal roads in the area. The revamp will help the police in reaching out to remote villages.

Singh pointed out that the road would also prove to be a boon for villagers. “The proposed road will also be a boon for villagers residing in the area, as they will be connected to other parts of the district,” Dadel said.

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