Govt nod for creation of BRO-type agency for Naxal-hit states
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Last Updated: Friday, October 08, 2010, 21:25
New Delhi: The government has approved in principle the creation of an agency similar to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for developing road infrastructure in Naxal-affected states.

The proposal for setting up the agency was accepted "in principle" by the Government and it is looking for partners to start the work in the left wing extremism-affected states such as Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, highly-placed Home Ministry sources told PTI here.

BRO is an organisation under the Defence Ministry tasked to build roads in the border areas for allowing swift movement of men and machinery there.

The Government has also asked infrastructure companies to build roads in these areas and assured to provide them security but no one has yet come forward, they added.

Earlier, the task of constructing a few of the roads in Naxal-affected areas was also entrusted to the BRO only but the Government later decided to pull it out from there to concentrate on building infrastructure along the borders.

The BRO was asked to move out of the National Highway-16 project codenamed 'Project Hirak' to build 116 kms of road in the Naxal-hit areas of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The Government is implementing an ambitious development scheme for 35 worst Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. According to an estimate, about 40,000 sq km areas in Naxal-affected states are under the control of Maoists.

Naxal violence has claimed the lives of over 10,000 civilians and security personnel in the last five years.

Out of a total of 10,268 casualties between 2005 and May 2010, 2,372 deaths have been reported in 2009 as against 1,769 in 2008 and 1,737 in 2007.

Besides, Naxals targeted 362 telephone towers, many school buildings, roads and culverts in 2009 alone.


First Published: Friday, October 08, 2010, 21:25

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