Sukma/Bijapur: Observing that Naxalism can be tackled only through development, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today said the Centre has decided to improve the condition of roads in the naxal-hit regions under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
"The road connectivity is a major problem in the left wing extremism areas. In these regions, Naxals prevent construction of roads and also blow up already constructed roads," Ramesh said during his two-day visit to Bastar region that concluded today.
Therefore, the Union Government has decided to improve road connectivity in the naxal-hit regions under the PMGSY in two phases, Ramesh added.
In the first phase, WBM (Water Bound Macadam) roads will be constructed in these regions, he said adding that the asphalting work will be taken up later if naxals do not indulge in road destruction activities, he said.
During his visit to the tribal-dominated Sukma and Bijapur districts in the region, Ramesh asked the public representatives to carry the construction work with help of gram panchayats.
However, the public representatives said that the gram panchayats will come on the target of the Maoists if they get involved in development projects.
The minister also said that very soon an engineering branch of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be set up in the naxal-affected regions for road construction.
During his visit, the state officials informed the minister that under PMGSY, nearly 73 roads are to be constructed in Sukma district, of which construction of 20 roads have been completed while five of them are under construction.
Besides, construction of 48 roads in sensitive areas have been halted, they informed.
In Bijapur, nearly 33 roads are to be constructed under the scheme out of which construction of nearly 13 are underway, the official said.