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Government angry over slow development in Maoist-affected states

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 16, 2007

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Bihar and Jharkhand are likely to earn the wrath of the government for being slow in implementing various development schemes in their Maoist-infested districts. crucial inter-ministerial group (IMG) meeting of the union home ministry is meeting in Patna Monday to examine the pace of socio-economic development in insurgency-hit regions of both the states.

While Bihar is likely to be ticked off by the central government for faltering in speedy construction of roads and being slow in implementing job guarantee scheme in its affected districts, Jharkhand is likely to be told to expedite construction of roads in the vulnerable areas. The meet, which will be chaired by home ministry’s Additional Secretary (Naxal Management) Vinay Kumar, comes in the aftermath of a meeting of the ministry’s Task Force in Hyderabad on the Maoist movement.


The agenda of Hyderabad meeting held Friday included joint strategies to tackle the Maoists, modernising intelligence gathering, and improving inter-state coordination to target Maoist leaders and cadres.On the eve of the IMG meet, the ministry officials expressed concerns at the slow pace of construction of roads under Prime Minister’s Rural Road Scheme and sluggish implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme in the two states.


In 2006, the centre had earmarked 200 districts for implementation of the first phase of rural job guarantee scheme in such a way that all 150 Maoist-infested districts were covered.Similarly, various states had been told to expedite road construction projects in the insurgency-hit districts to help security forces take up frequent patrolling there, official sources pointed out.


But Bihar and Jharkhand have performed miserably on both the counts, said sources.For the IMG meeting in Patna, the home ministry officials appeared to have done some homework about the ground situation regarding rural road construction and implementation of the rural job scheme.


Citing an example of tardy pace of rural road construction in Bihar, the sources said, over 50 villages, including Alawalpur, Jamalpur and Jamunapur – having a population of over 1.5 million and located barely 15 km from Patna – have no roads at all. These villages are situated near the Maoist-infested pockets of Masaudhi and Taregna near Jehanabad and could be a sitting duck for Maoist attacks owing to the fact that most of the villagers in this region are employed either in state police or various paramilitary forces and the army.Additionally, these villages are inhibited by upper caste people and make them vulnerable to Maoist attacks.


M&G

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