Patna: Basic infrastructure development is "very very poor" in north and eastern India, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday while suggesting that time had come for revisiting strategy of both the Centre and the states for rural areas.
"Right now the big challenge for us is North India and Eastern India. The nature of demand is... People want schools, people want hospitals and clearly power supply. There is also problem of availability of banks and post offices. Basic infrastructure is very poor in North India," Ramesh told PTI after visiting Naxal-affected district of Rohtas in Bihar.
The Minister, who reviewed developmental initiatives in the district, said that the healthcare system had completely collapsed in rural India particularly in Naxal affected districts.
Officials who briefed him about the issues in the tribal areas said that cases of leprosy and TB had been reported from these areas and the government had taken necessary steps to provide medical assistance to the affected people.
"In the Naxal affected areas even the teachers don`t go to schools. There is a need for a larger developmental and coordinated push. For example Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyudtikaran Yojana seems to have been a failure in most part of the country. We have to revisit our strategy for rural India," Ramesh said.
"The reason why outh Indian states have been able to take off because of better connectivity, better roads, better banking facilities and also there have been better administration," the Minister said.
Ramesh said that the Naxal situation in Bihar was not as serious or as dangerous as in Odisha, Jharkhand or Chhattisgarh.
"The nature of Naxal problem in Bihar is more linked with caste related issues and less to do with forest or tribal issues. However, there are some parts of Bihar that are very sensitive like Jamui. So we need some sort of a focussed efforts in these regions," Ramesh said.