The UPA rout in the recent Lok Sabha polls has cast a shadow on the Integrated Development Center (IDC) in Saranda’s Digha village, a pet project of outgoing Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.
Ramesh had envisioned IDC as a one-stop destination for the daily needs of villagers of at least six panchayats complete with fair price shop, health center, bank, post office and delivery offices of various social security schemes, and is valued at around `5 crore. But the center has been lying unutilised for a year now.
Not only does it not have power and water connections, but also minus a boundary wall and security guards, it stands vulnerable to Maoist threats.
Locals, who have seen Maoists blow up several schools and forest guest houses in the area over the past two decades, fear this one too will meet the same fate. The only solace is the presence of a CRPF camp in the village.
Paramilitary personnel launched two major back-to-back operations and reclaimed the forests from Maoists, however, the presence of Maoists continue to loom.
Jharkhand chief secretary Sajal Chakraverty, offered a word of reassurance. “We will not let go the initiative in vain…We are trying to find out how best we can use it.”
Lauding the initiative, he said,” It is a candle well lit, and it’s our duty now to turn it into a lamp.”