Odisha CM Submits Five Proposals For Economic Growth Of LWE Regions

Published by
OB Bureau

New Delhi: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday submitted five proposals to the Centre for inclusive development in the left-wing extremism (LWE) affected districts of the state.

Addressing a high-level meeting of the Chief Ministers of the 10 Maoist-hit states at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi presided over by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, he said while Odisha has sustained its efforts to curb LWE activities with substantial success amid the COVID pandemic.

While about 70 per cent of Odisha were affected during the peak, the Maoist activities are now limited to some parts of the three districts in Malkangiri, Koraput and Nabarangpur, he said.

Naveen said that the Odisha government from its experience in handling LWE issues has come to learn that accessibility and economic prosperity are the biggest anti-LWE measures, and so, utmost priority should be given to these two aspects.

Against this backdrop, the CM submitted the following proposals to the Centre.

Four-laning of NH 326 from Jeypore to Motu via Malkangiri up to Bhadrachalam
This project will provide a parallel road for traffic from eastern India, the two neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand to the south especially Bengaluru and Hyderabad. This proposed corridor in addition to reducing the travelling time substantially will also provide huge economic impetus to this region.

Railway network
As the LWE affected districts are not part of the railway network, the Railway Ministry and the Odisha government are already constructing two routes from Jeypore to Nabarangpur and Jeypore to Malkangiri through cost-sharing. However, the missing part between Malkangiri to Bhadrachalam (153 km) and Nabarangpur to Junagarh (118 km) can provide a viable alternative path to the trunk routes of railway, which will have a huge impact on the economic growth of these areas.

Mobile connectivity
There are 6,278 villages in southern and western Odisha where there is no mobile access or connectivity, the largest n the country. Although the Centre sanctioned 488 mobile towers for Odisha recently, an estimated 2,000 more mobile base stations will be required to provide coverage to other uncovered villages. As most of the interior areas depend on mobile connectivity and mobile internet for banking, education and delivery of all government services, the need of the hour is 4-G mobile base stations at all places and upgrading of the existing 2-G base stations.

Banking facilities
Since banking facilities in the LWE areas in Odisha have not been successful and the banking correspondent cannot be a replacement for banks in these areas, the state government will provide land and buildings for setting up the bank branches free of cost. Therefore, the Centre is urged to take expeditious steps to set up banks within a specific time frame of one year or so.

Scope for children to access national level examinations
The Home Ministry should do a study on how many children from these LWE-affected areas across the country are getting into national level exams like NEET, IIT and JEE. If the present systems continue to bypass these areas, it is not going to help the cause of these people.

OB Bureau

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