Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chhattisgarh to invest Rs.2,000 crore on infrastructure

2010-04-14 14:30:00

Chhattisgarh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will invest Rs.2,000 crore on infrastructure in Maoist-infested Bastar region, Chief Minister Raman Singh said Wednesday.

'The government will invest Rs.2,000 crore during the next three years to boost infrastructure in Naxal-hit Bastar region,' Singh told reporters.

He said the government has formed a committee headed by chief secretary P. Joy Oommen to look into development work in Bastar, mainly related to infrastructure, such as the construction of roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.

The government's announcement to invest Rs.2,000 crore on infrastructure development in violence-hit Bastar has come about a week after Maoists carried out the biggest ever attack on policemen in Dantewada district April 6 in which 76 para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were massacred.

The 40,000 sq km forested Bastar region is made up of five districts - Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada.

Describing the insurgency-hit Bastar as the 'toughest area', Singh said: 'The fight against Maoists in the region will be long drawn and the state government will be able to assert its authority in Maoist-controlled pockets and also succeed in restoring peace in Bastar in the coming three years.'

'I have spent a lot of my energy trying to spell out the gravity of the Naxal problem but it's only in the past one year that they (central government) have realized the threat posed by Naxals,' the chief minister remarked.

'The Naxal issue should be kept aside from politics. It should be viewed in the context of the country and democracy,' he observed.

The minister slammed human rights groups for being silent on the Dantewada massacre.

'Human rights groups and so called intellectuals in the country are saying the police offensive against Maoists should be suspended but not a single word of criticism has come in so far from them regarding the killing of 76 policemen in Dantewada,' Singh lamented.

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