In a significant push towards linking the Maoist affected regions to the national mainstream, the Indian Railways operated its first express train service in the Maoist infested region of Dantewada on Tuesday.
Such an operation was a result of the special Visakhapatnam-Jagdalpur express train getting extended towards Kirandul. As per the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Visakhapatnam, this is the first express train for the people residing in left-wing extremism affected areas and they hope that such measures would lead to the development of this area.
This train is 9 coaches long and includes one AC III tier and 3 sleeper coaches. As compared to its earlier route, it now covers 150 KM extra via the forested terrain till Kirandul in Dantewada. Out of the 15 stations on the route, the train will halt at just 4.
From the past 40 years only one passenger train has been running in the region and Piyush Goyal the current Railway Minister had announced its extension at the request of Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh. As per Singh, this train would result in a huge developmental boost in the tribal-dominated backward region.
As this daily train service might face a Maoist threat, it would be accompanied by RPF personnel. Apart from this, overall security measures have been revamped in the area and patrolling, intelligence coordination has also been reviewed.
The Central government in recent days seems to be using development as a key tool in order to defeat the radical leftist ideology of the Maoists.
We had reported in the past how the Centre had 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 in April.
Apart from this, the ITBP jawans gave another jolt to Maoist aspirations by building a bridge over Tatoda river in the Maoist-infested Kaneri village of Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district, in just 30 days. This bridge before its completion was pending for about 9 years due to Maoist threat and its construction would help in the around 10,000 villagers of 60 villages.
To further solidify development in such regions, the Union power ministry headed by then Power Ministry Piyush Goyal was reported as working towards an action plan which would help in the electrification of the Maoist affected regions in the state of Chhattisgarh. It as a result had also identified 191 villages where electrification work was stranded thanks to a Maoist threat. The ministry was also assessing a plan to produce electricity through renewable source of energy.