Massive development push in Red corridor – Centre to spend Rs 11,000 crore on roads

In an effort to expedite development push in Red corridor, the Centre has decided to spend a whopping Rs 11,000 crore for providing road connectivity to 44 Maoist-affected districts, including Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, where 25 CRPF personnel were killed in a deadly Maoist ambush last month.

It is pertinent to mention that all these Maoist affected districts are critical from a security and communication point of view. Out of these 44 Maoist affected districts, covered under the scheme, the maximum are located in Chattisgarh. Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra are the other states that will be covered under the scheme.

Of the total project cost of Rs 11,000 crore, Rs 550 crore – that is five per cent – will be kept aside for administrative expenses including for deployment of security forces at strategic locations, officials in know of the project was quoted as saying.

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The development project will be operationalised in the next few weeks. The project will be implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Under the project, there will be construction or upgradation of 5,411 kms of roads and 126 bridges.

The Union Cabinet, last year, had approved the centrally-sponsored “Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas” scheme. The Union Home Ministry has given a go ahead for the construction of a 5,412 km-long road connecting 44 Maoist-affected districts.

OpIndia, one of the earlier articles, had told you that development is a major way to fight the Maoists as they are scared of the development push by the government.

It could be noted that the last two attacks on CRPF personnel – 24 April Maoist attack and 12 March Maoist attack –took place when the  CRPF battalion were engaged in securing under construction roads.

The Maoists, who look for safe sanctuaries to run their activities, are scared of development because they use lack of development as a facade to exploit the innocent tribals and carry out their activities. Once, development reaches deep into the Maoist hinterland, the Left ultra will finally lose their constituency and go out of business.

We had earlier argued that development push and an all out war against Maoists must go in tandem.

As many as 12,000 citizens had lost their lives in Maoist violence over the last two decades and of these, 2,700 are security personnel and 9,300 are civilians.

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