The Planning Commission has sought the help of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in monitoring the panel’s Rs 14,000-crore plan for Naxal-affected tribal and backward regions, which got Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s in-principle approval on Friday.
According to panel sources, ISRO will provide satellite pictures of the work undertaken under the plan, which is likely to be considered by the cabinet in a fortnight.
"The satellite data can help us in finding whether the work for which the money is given is actually carried out or not," a senior panel functionary said.
With ISRO's help, the panel will also identify areas where special projects for water harvesting or improving agriculture productivity can be implemented. "The information provided with ISRO will be shared with people at the ground level to prepare a scientific plan that is workable".
This is the first time the plan panel has sought ISRO's help to monito central government programmes. The integrated action plan for tribal and backward areas has a different approach, as most of the money would be provided for the project planned at the district level. It contrasts with most government schemes where the money is provided for plans devised at the state or the central level.
The panel has proposed to provide Rs 2,400 crore directly to 60 districts identified as beneficiaries under the plan. These Naxal-affected districts are in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.