Vijayawada-Ranchi NH: Naveen seeks more funds

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought more funds for the Vijayawada-Ranchi national highway project and Chitrakonda bridge to effectively tackle the growing activities of the naxalites.

These demands were raised before Union Minister P Chidambaram during a discussion Naveen had with him at the secretariat today.

Underscoring the need for socio-economic development in Naxalite affected areas, Naveen said that the highway will pass through several Naxalite affected areas of the State.

The Chief Minister said cover of paramilitary forces is required for construction of the Chitrakonda bridge. He also demanded more funds for the project.

Stating that concrete roads should be constructed in Malkangiri and Koraput districts to effectively deal with the Maoists, Naveen said that these roads should be constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

He said that construction of concrete roads will also help movement of forces.

The Chief Minister said that as young tribals are being won away by the naxalites, they should be recruited in the Army. He said that physical criteria for recruitment in Army should be suitably modified in this connection.

Naveen reiterated the demand of the State Government for four battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on a long term basis in the State for tackling the Maoists. Besides, three more battalions of CRPF are required for deployment in areas bordering Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

He said that 14 battalions of CRPF have been deployed in Chhatisgarh to deal with the Naxalite menace, he said.

The Chief Minister expressed his unhappiness over the delay in providing training slots to police personnel recruited by the State Government. He said that there is urgent need for training slots for 1500 personnel of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) and special security forces recruited by the State Government.

Other demands include Rs 20 crore basic constabulary training, Rs 10 crore for anti-extremist training centre and a dedicated helicopter for communication purposes in naxalite affected areas.

Besides, Rs 64 crore has been demanded under the security related expenditure (SRE) in 2009-10 of which Rs 24 crore has been released, he said.

Naveen also demanded five more companies of CRPF to be deployed in Kandhamal district for some more time.

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