Pointing out that lack of proper
enforcement of Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas)
Act contributed to the rise of Maoist menace in Chhattisgarh
and other places, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh
on Saturday suggested a three-fold strategy to deal with it.
Talking to reporters after his tour of the Naxal-affected
areas, Ramesh said PESA was brought in 1996 to strengthen
panchayats of scheduled areas but it was not enforced in the
He said Naxals are dominant in areas which have large
deposits of minerals, forests and which are inhabited by
tribal communities. Therefore, it was necessary to strengthen
the panchayats in these areas.
For dealing with Naxalism, he said a three-fold strategy
is necessary: to reassure the locals that government is there
to address their problems, to have organised political parties
in Naxal-affected areas and to deploy enough para-military
Ramesh said it was necessary to build good roads in such
areas but private contractors are reluctant to take up work
there and so a proposal is that the state government itself
should build roads with the help of forest department and the
The idea would be tried out in Bijapur district of
Chhattisgarh, he said.
To a question, he said industrialisation is necessary for
development and land would have to be found for that.