Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah who promised all possible help to Chhattisgarh to fight Naxalites and to develop the Bastar region economically.
During a meeting in New Delhi, Baghel discussed various issues with the Union Minister like increasing telecom facilities in Naxalite hubs and deployment of two more CRPF battalions in Bastar.
"The Home Minister assured immediate action on the same," an official statement of state government informed.
Underlining the importance of generating more employment opportunities in the region to uproot Naxalism, the Chief Minister said iron ore is available in abundance in Bastar and if it is made available at 30 per cent discount to steel plants, then investment of hundreds of crores of rupees will be created, leading to thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
He said that grid power has not yet been reached in large part due to difficult geographical areas. But with solar power plants, it is possible to meet the energy needs of the people and their economic development. The Chief Minister sought grant to make cold chains for arranging the processing and sale of minor forest produce, forest medicines and several types of horticultural crops in the forest areas.
Baghel demanded at least Rs 50 crore each year to be allotted to Collectors for development in all the seven aspiring districts of Bastar.
He urged Shah not to privatize NMDC for the sake of Bastar's development, "to which the Home Minister has assured that he will consider the request".
Baghel also discussed issues related to livelihood development, development of banks, roads and infrastructure in Naxalite areas.
A meeting of officials of the Home Ministry and Chhattisgarh in Raipur has been scheduled soon to discuss the various issues.
Shah "assured to give due consideration to the suggestions and requests and assured to fulfill the demands," the statement said.
Baghel's Additional Chief Secretary Subrat Sahu and the Secretary, Siddhartha Komal Singh Pardeshi, attended the meeting