Observing that Maoists have not targeted works done under the Integrated Action Plan, the government on Tuesday said efforts are on to extend the ambitious programme to 20 more Naxal-hit districts.
Addressing a national workshop attended by the collectors of Maoist affected districts in New Delhi, both home minister P Chidambaram and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said there was a "definite view" that the IAP being implemented in 60 selected tribal and backward districts, should continue.
"We are trying to add another 20 districts. Planning Commission has given approval for 18 districts. This brings the total districts under IAP to 78 districts," Chidambaram told the workshop.
The IAP currently covers 60 districts and the project has to be completed within two financial years.
"...the attacks that have taken place have been conspicously absent as far as IAP works are concerned," Ramesh said.
He said there is unanimous view among all the district collectors and state governments that the Integrated Action Plan should continue in the 12th five-year-plan too.
"...it will continue. No doubt," the minister said and added that "it should be the block, not the district that should be the unit."
"There is consensus among all the district collectors and state governments that I have interacted with that the district should not be model for the intermediate model. But we should actually be talking about blocks," he said.
Ramesh said the selection of Gram Panchayat where the programme would be implemented for the period of 2011-12 will be decided by a committee consisting of the collector, Superintendent of Police and district forest officer.
Collectors of the Naxal-hit districts of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal attended the workshop.