Maoist-hit areas to get more banks, post offices, ATMs

  • Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2015 22:47 IST

Three of worst Maoist-affected districts in the country — Sukma, Bijapur and Dantewada — in Chhattisgarh have only 44 bank and regional rural bank branches in total.

Sukma and Bijapur have only 10 ATMs. Over 100 post office branches are non-functional. In Sukma, 13 mobile towers are non-functional, a Union home ministry data reveals.

The data has been culled by Union home ministry after consulting the district magistrates of the three districts — considered the den of Maoists and the stark reality was presented to all stakeholder ministries and the state government when home minister Rajnath Singh sat with them last week to review development projects of the region.

“To make the benefits of an innovative financially inclusive scheme like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna reach the targeted people in these three districts, we need to have more bank branches there. All post offices need to be functional for their financial inclusion.

Making them part of the communication revolution happening elsewhere in the country requires at least already installed telephone exchanges and mobile towers to be functional first. This is what we are going to focus on in the coming months,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.

The data showed Sukma has only four sub-post offices and all 61 branch post offices are non-functional. Bijapur has five sub post offices and 53 branch post offices but only two of them are functional.

Dantewada has six sub post offices and 59 branch post offices. Nine of them don’t have a single employee. In total 50% posts are lying vacant.

In Sukma, out of five telephone exchanges, one is non-functional. In Bijapur, 14 mobile towers are functional but 14 new sanctioned towers are yet to be installed.

In Dantewada, three out of 20 mobile towers are non-functional.

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