The Bihar government has demanded a special package of Rs 1906 crore from the Centre to deal with the Naxal problem in the State. The state government intends to utilize this money to launch development work, as it believes that it is the only way of curbing the Naxal menace.
The demand was placed by the State Government representatives at a high-level meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) held in Patna on Monday. The package amount may increase by another Rs 100 crore as two departments could not submit their proposals in the required format.
Union Home Minister’s Additional Home Secretary (Naxal Operation) Vinay Kumar told mediapesons that the special development proposals submitted by the Bihar government would be finalized after consultations with heads of the Ministries and departments concerned.
“The purpose of holding the meet outside Delhi for the first time was to get acquainted with the problems faced by different departments in implementing the government schemes for Naxal infested areas,” he said, adding there was a greater coordination needed among different departments to take development to the target groups.
“During the meeting, we came to know that the Bihar government has utilized hundred per cent of the money under the Plan head of the budget during last financial year. But, there is need to maintain a balance between quality and speed in implementing the schemes,” Kumar said.
The Additional Secretary said the empowerment of the gram panchayats would accelerate the pace of development in Naxal hit areas. “It is high time that the panchayat bodies should be involved in implementing the schemes,” he pointed out. Kumar said roads are being built in rural areas and angar bari sevikas appointed to create health awareness. Similarly, efforts are on to improve education system under the Sarva Sikshsa Abhiyan in the state, he said.
Replying to a quarry, Kumar said while the administration was fighting with the Naxals on one hand, it was trying to fill up social divides due to lack of development. He advised the state governments to follow the Andhra Pradesh model. “The way Andhra Pradesh has responded, other state governments should also do so,” he added.
He assured that he would discuss the issue related to reducing the matching grant of Bihar by 25 per cent by the Planning Commission for Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.
He disclosed that Naxal violence was reported from 395 police stations in the country against 450 during 2005. In Bihar, violence was reported from 69 police station against 80 during 2005. He said 30 companies of the para-military force were deployed in Bihar to assist the State government machinery in carrying out anti-Naxal operation.
When asked whether he was satisfied with the Bihar government’s efforts to deal with Naxal problem, the Additional Secretary replied in affirmative and said that there had been a remarkable decline in the incidents of Naxal violence in Bihar during 2006.
Earlier, Home Secretary Afzal Amalluah placed before the IMG the problems faced by the state administration in dealing with the Naxal menace in the state. The Home revealed that out of Rs 1906 crore special package proposal, Rs 1200 crore was earmarked for rural roads while Rs 400 crore for anti-extremist operations in Naxal infested districts.
He said that the Centre has to play an important role in bridging the gap between
Chief Secretary A K Choudhary, Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah, DGP, A R Sinha, IG, CRPF, Joint Director, IB, IG (Operation), IG, SSB and secretaries of different departments were present at the meeting.