Seeking concrete steps to properly implement various welfare schemes in villages, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said the Maoist menace can be fought with rural development.
"Rural development is the answer to fight naxalism. It will improve the living standard of the people living in villages," Ramesh told reporters during a visit to the tribal-dominated and Maoist-hit Kandhamal district in Orissa.
Proper and successful implementation of welfare schemes like MGNREGA, PMGSY, IAY would be able to build a new relation between the government and tribal people, the cabinet minister said.
Though a lot of work is being done through MGNREGA and PMGSY, there still exists a gap between administration and people, Ramesh said asking the administration to move closer to the masses.
Impressed with abundant natural resources in Orissa, particularly Kandhamal, he said poor communication facilities poses a major obstacle in bringing speedy development in backward areas.
Yesterday, Ramesh had a meeting with collectors of seven naxal-hit districts of south Orissa - Kandhamal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nayagarh - at Berhampur.