Development would be the best weapon to root out Naxalism, Chhattisgarh CM

The Samikhsya Bureau

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged upon the Union Home Minister Amit Shah for Centre’s support in accelerating development initiatives in Naxalism-hit areas of the State in order to wipe out the menace.

In the letter, the Chief Minister has put forth five suggestions for the Centre while seeking cooperation and assistance for effective and holistic implementation of development programmes in Naxalism affected areas, Bastar region in particular.

Baghel has emphasised in creation of adequate employment opportunities in these areas that would not force the poor and unemployed to join Naxal groups.

“Iron ore is available in abundance in Bastar. If iron ore is provided at 30 per cent discount to steel plants in the region, it would attract investment to the tune of several crore rupees in the sector, thus providing direct and indirect employment opportunities in remote areas,” the letter stated.

The Chief Minister has further pointed out that grid power supply is yet to reach a large part of the remote areas due to difficult geographical terrains. Establishment of a large number of solar power plants would help in meeting the energy requirements of people and would bring in economic development.

There is the need for liberal financial grants for setting up of processing units and cold chains in these areas, Baghel has suggested.

The Chief Minister has sought Centre’s assistance in the proposed Bodhghat Multipurpose Irrigation Project on Indravati river in Bastar district.

He has stated that there was no separate financial grant from the Centre to the State for these affected districts.

Seven districts of Bastar region have been identified as aspirational districts and at least Rs.50 crores should be provided annually to each of these districts for development purposes, the letter said.

Implementation of these suggestions would help in rooting out Naxalism from Chhattisgarh in the next few years, Baghel’s letter has stated.