P. Chidambaram has called for better utilization of funds, provided by the Centre for development of the districts, worst affected by Left Wing Extremism(LWE). He was chairing here today a meeting held with the Members of Parliament, representing 34 such districts and West Medinipur district of West Bengal. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the present trends and review the steps needed for integrated development of these districts. Citing statistics, the Home Minister said that as on 25th April, 2010, utilization of the funds released for these districts under major development schemes varied from scheme to scheme. The utilization was 46.23 per cent under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, 62.83 per cent under the National Rural Health Mission, 72.92 per cent under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, 85.81 per cent under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, 80.35 per cent under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 86.37 percent under Drinking Water Supply, 86.70 per cent under Integated Child Development Services , 71.52 per cent under Indira Awas Yojana, 5.86 per cent for Ashram Schools and 66.01 per cent under the Forest Rights Act. The Minister said that there was a need to improve the financial and physical performance of major developmental schemes in the worst-affect districts.
Taking part in the discussions, MPs welcomed the Home Minister’s initiative to call the first ever meeting of Members of Parliament representing the Districts, worst affected by LWE. Members said that MPs and MLAs from these districts must have a role to play in monitoring implementation of the major developmental schemes. Suggestions which came up at the meeting included setting up of a major Vocational Centre in each block, relaxation of norms for setting up schools and building roads, etc. in the worst-affected districts, imparting knowledge of local dialects to security force personnel working in the LWE- affected areas, involving local tribals in implementation of various developmental schemes and providing employment to local tribals in security forces, etc. Some members pointed out that Naxal leaders have amassed huge wealth through extortion.
In his concluding remarks, the Union Home Minister said that a plan would be worked out on the basis of concrete suggestions, received from the MPs and would be presented to the Chief Ministers.
The discussion remained inconclusive and another meeting would be held in the second half of next month to enable more Members to participate. Those present at today’s meeting included the Ministers of State for Home S/Shri Mullappally Ramachandran and Ajay Maken and senior officers from the concerned Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government.
The Districts worst affected by Left Wing Extremism include Khammam in Andhra Pradesh, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Jamui, Arwal, Gaya and Rohtas in Bihar, Dantewada, Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Sarguja from Chhattisgarh, Gadchiroli and Gondia from Maharashtra, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Lohardaga, Gumla, Chatra, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Bokaro, Garhwa, Lathehar and Palamau from Jharkhand, Balaghat from Madhya Pradesh , Gajapati, Rayagada, Devogarh, Malkangiri and Sambalpur from Orissa, Sonebhadra from Uttar Pradesh and West Medinipur from West Bengal.