Naxal areas look at innovation to tackle backwardness
Innovation to meet local aspirations is the new buzz to check influence of Naxalities in 60 districts under the Central government's Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for Left Wing Extremism districts.
If Dantewada district has come up with the concept of two-wheeler ambulances to take ill to the nearest road, Ghadchiroli has provided mobile ambulances for minor operations on the way to a nearby hospital.
Bihar has come up with a unique innovation of generating power rice husk and Kanker in Chhattisgarh has provided solar electricity systems to the villagers without regular power connection.
These are some of the 69,000 works carried out under IAP, in which the Central government has provided Rs 25 crore in the last financial year and will be giving Rs 30 crore in the current financial year to each of the 60 worst naxal affected districts in India.
The magistrates of these districts provided latest status report on the works undertaken at a video-conferencing with plan panel’s member secretary Sudha Pillai on Wednesday. In six months of the scheme implementation the expenditure of over 47 % of Rs 1,500 crore released by the plan panel.
While most of the money has been spent on construction of roads, schools, irrigation projects, the district magistrates had utilized some money to meet specific needs of the districts, which are not covered under other central government schemes.
"We have sanctioned two wheeler ambulances for villagers where four wheelers cannot reach. People used to transport patients on carts till the main road," said district magistrate of Dantewada. In another naxal affected district of Chhattisgarh, Bijapur, the money has been utilized to provide employment to local youth by starting Jan Sawidha Express, a scheme, where money to take a bank loan has been provided from IAP.
Solar energy seems to be a universal solution adopted across 60 naxal states with the plan panel now deciding to provide up to 90 % subsidy for providing solar lanterns to villagers.
Now, the government is looking at improving mobile connectivity in the naxal affected districts.
"We have spoken to the Department of Telecom to ask private operators to set up mobile telephone towers in police stations and security establishments," Pillai said. A decision to this effect is expected soon.
Apart from it, the Central government had also relaxed norms for carrying out developmental works in these 60 districts. It includes allowing diversion of up to five hectares of forestland without approval, allowing construction of bridges up to 75 meters under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, instead of 50 meters in other districts and providing subsidy of upto Rs 48,000 for construction of homes for poor under Indira Vikas Yojana.