Spend development funds properly to curb Maoists: Chidambaram


New Delhi : Proper utilisation of development funds provided by the central government will help curb Maoist insurgency – was what Home Minister P. Chidambaram told MPs from 34 Left-wing-insurgency hit districts Friday.

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Chairing a meeting to review the steps needed for integrated development of Maoist violence-riven districts, Chidambaram cited statistics to suggest that funds released for these districts as on April 25 were not utilised properly.

The home minister said a plan would be worked out on the basis of concrete suggestions received from the MPs and be presented to chief ministers of Maoist-hit states.

Six Indian states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal, are affected by Maoist insurgency.

A Planning Commission task force had reported after the April 6 Dantewada massacre that development work had been slowest in the areas with huge Maoist presence. The report found that in Dantewada, claims for land made under the Forest Rights Act had not been given.

Only 46 percent of the funds meant for roads had been used and nearly 63 percent of the healthcare money had been spent. The government is focusing on connectivity in these terrains, which has been the biggest disadvantage faced by security forces during the anti-Maoist operations.

Similarly, nearly 5.86 percent funds for ashram schools has been utilised, while 72 percent given under an electricity scheme was used, 86 percent for education, 80.35 percent for the job guarantee scheme and 87 percent for drinking water supply.