Rs 3400 cr development package for Naxal-hit zones

The Planning Commission is likely to finalise soon a plan to provide funds to the tune of Rs 3,400 crore for development of infrastructure like roads, electricity and drinking water in 34 Naxal-hit districts.

New Delhi: The Planning Commission is likely to finalise soon a plan to provide funds to the tune of Rs 3,400 crore for development of infrastructure like roads, electricity and drinking water in 34 Naxal-hit districts.

The Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for districts under the grip of Left-wing extremists is being prepared under the direction of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The fund allocations can go up to Rs 100 crore for each district, a highly-placed source said adding that the IAP could be finalised by next week.

As per an assessment by the Planning Commission, the government`s flagship schemes like Bharat Nirman have not achieved the desired results in the country`s backward areas,
aggravating the problem of extremism in several parts of the country.

"This is happening for the first time... we are looking at an entire development strategy (for Naxal-infested areas)," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh
Ahluwalia said.

The IAP would focus on particular blocks if the entire district is not affected by extremism, the plan panel informed the Ministry of Rural Development.

Earlier, Ahluwalia had also expressed concern over excessive state regulations over the right of tribals to use minor forest produce such as grass and tendu leaves.
These should not be subjected to regulation by the state Forest Departments, he had maintained.

The commission is also looking at the possibility of implementing the PESA (Panchayats Extension to Schedule Areas) Act, 1996, to give tribals the right to use minor forest produce.
Parts of as many as nine states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- are in the grip of Naxalism.

Bureau Report

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