New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) The central government will take a series of measures to shore up development in 82 Maoist-affected districts including providing insurance cover to contractors working on making roads and bridges, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said Tuesday.
The government will consider including insurance premium for personnel of contractors on a 75:25 cost sharing basis with state governments, Ramesh told reporters here.
Besides this, the government would also allow states to have flexibility to declare a habitation as connected even without construction of a black-topped concrete road.
Ramesh said that in the Maoist-affected blocks, "habitations will have connectivity through more than one road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) but only one will be black topped".
States can take up the construction of formation, construction of gravel base as well as slope stabilization, protection works and drainage works in the initial stages (stage A). The final stage would include bituminous or concrete surfacing, he said.
States will have the flexibility to declare the habitation as connected at the end of Stage A.
A proposal would also be put before the cabinet to put the minimum number of people required to constitute a habitation at 100 instead of the current 250.
"The proposal would come up before the cabinet on Thursday when PMGSY would be discussed," Ramesh said.
The government had earlier taken up many steps for the left-wing extremism affected districts like relaxing the road completion time to 24 months from 18 months fixed earlier and reducing the minimum tender package to Rs.50 lakh from Rs.1 crore.