iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 06, 2013
The central government is altering its normally rigid rules to take development to naxal-affected areas.

With naxals blowing up the fully constructed concrete and bituminous roads in their areas of influence, the ministry of rural development has now allowed road works to be finished in two stages.

In the 82 districts under the Integrated Action Plan, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana roads would be constructed till the gravel-base stage - on which vehicles could move. When the situation improves, black top or concrete would be applied under stage 2.

Under a new set of guidelines communicated to the IAP States, tribal habitations could now have multiple roads with one black-topped one. Multiple roads would allow easier inter-habitation movement in forest areas, and provide an alternative access in case of blowing up or flooding of the main PMGSY road.

"The success of our development programmes or security strategies in the Maoist belt hinges on PMGSY roads," rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said.

Of the 52, 000 habitations in IAP areas, only 19,000 are covered by PMGSY roads.

Cabinet Proposal
The ministry has moved a Cabinet proposal, likely to be taken up on Thursday, which provides tribal habitations populated by over 100 people in IAP districts with a PMGSY road. As of now, the scheme covers only those with 250 or more people.

The move would benefit thousands of habitations with sparse population, and are cut off from nearest government centres.