Dead-bed of 26 Cong leaders now part of anti-naxal plan

New Delhi, Aug. 21 -- Sukma, where naxals killed 25 Congress leaders this May, has been included under the Centre's dedicated development plan to fight Left Wing Extremism, called Integrated Action Plan (IAP).

In all, the Centre has decided to add six more districts to the 82 districts already covered under the plan. While four districts including Sukma are of Chhattisgarh, the remaining are from Maharashtra.

The programme started initially with 60 worst naxal affected districts but the Centre added 12 more in phases bowing to pressure from the Central ministers and the Members of Parliament.

Now, the government has decided to expand it to the six newly created districts.

Government officials said that Sukma has witnessed an increase in naxal related incidents with Congress leaders such as former Union minister V C Shukla, originator of anti-naxal band of tribals (Salwa Judum) Mahendra Karma and state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel killed in Naxal ambush on May 26.

In a review of IAP, the government felt that other districts such as Konda Goan, Balrampur and Gadia Vaneth in Chhattisgarh and Bandara and Chandrapur in Maharashtra should be included. A nod from the Prime Minister's Office was received in this regard recently.

These districts would get Rs. 30 crore for developmental activities which are not covered in other Central government schemes. It would be on the lines of the money provided to 82 districts, where a committee of bureaucrats decide on using the funds based on local need.

The Planning Commission in a review of the programme has found that about 80% of the projects undertaken under the plan have been completed. The best performing states were Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

The worst performing states were Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Even though over 89,000 projects of total 1.10 lakh undertaken have been completed, questions have been raised over the quality of the work done especially in relation to creating public assets like school, dispensaries and roads.

But, high rate of project completion has impressed the Prime Minister's Office which has decided to award the best performing officers.

"The District Level Committees in these districts have worked under very difficult conditions and have achieved commendable results on the ground. You may like to encourage these efforts by nominating the team of officers for Prime Minister's Award for doing the outstanding work under IAP," planning commission secretary Sindhushree Khullar said in a letter to district magistrates of 82 IAP districts.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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