Jairam Ramesh promises to reduce trust deficit in Naxal-hit districts

New Delhi, July 26: Stating that the present situation in Chhattisgarh's Naxal-hit districts appears to be grim, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that the programmes of his ministry would give an entry point into reducing the trust deficit between the people and civilian administration.

Jairam Ramesh, who reviewed the programmes of the Rural Development Ministry in Chhattisgarh, said: "The situation is very grim, very serious in Narayanpur, Bijapur, Kanker. In large number of panchayats, anywhere between 30 to 50 per cent in these districts, there are no rural development programmes taking place."

"The availability of infrastructure in these districts is a basic requirement, connectivity is a basic requirement. We are trying to give as much flexibility as we can to the elected panchayats to the Collector to the elected representatives in the Naxal-affected districts. There is no magic formula for this," he added.

Ramesh further said that there are basic governance issues including the non-availability of banking infrastructure, post offices, lack of security and delayed payments to the wage earners in the Naxal affected districts.

Assuring the District Collectors that the government would definitely look into their suggestions, Ramesh said: "There are huge problems in the implementation. The collectors of the affected districts made a 'large number of suggestions' to increase the reach of the Ministry's programmes among the rural poor."

"For example, for affected districts the six per cent ceiling on administrative costs should be increased. We can certainly look at that," he added.

Agreeing with the suggestion of the District Collectors that cement concrete road could be allowed to be built throughout, Ramesh said: "Right now, we allow cement concrete road only where there is human habitation. Another suggestion is that Indira Awas Yojana should be available to families who are affected by the Left wing extremism."

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com