Development to fight Naxals: 1,100-km through Red heartland | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Development to fight Naxals: 1,100-km through Red heartland

delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2011 23:17 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta

In a renewed thrust to curb the Naxalite insurgency, the Centre is planning to build 1,100 km of road winding through the border areas of four states hit by the Left wing extremism.

This is a part of the government's strategy to curb the rebels by increasing infrastructure in these areas.

The latest plan to expand the road network tops up a 2009 project worth Rs 8,500 crore to build 5,477 km of two-lane roads in the 60 Naxal-hit districts across eight states.

According to the home ministry, 1,003 people were killed in the Naxal violence across nine states in 2010.

The road transport ministry is finalising a proposal to develop 1,100 km of road corridor along the Andhra Pradesh border linking it with Maharashtra, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

At present, sub-standard gravel road exists on some stretches in this proposed corridor.

The project - which has already received an in-principle nod from the Planning Commission - will improve connectivity to the interior areas affected by the Naxal violence apart from giving a big boost to security forces posted in these areas.

The entire stretch will have bituminous road which, officials said, is difficult to mine by the Maoists.

"Areas along the Andhra, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Orissa border are worst-hit by the Naxal menace. The road network will bring development there, a part of the Centre's strategy to wean away the Naxalite support," said a official involved with the project.

The two-lane corridor will cost approximately Rs 2500 crore.

"The detailed project report is being readied. It will come up in the Cabinet for approval soon," added the official.

The Centre in 2009 approved construction of 5,477-km stretch of two-lane roads in the Naxal hit districts.

Of this, only 1,051 km has been constructed so far. Work has been delayed because of the prevailing law and order situation and land acquisition issues.