New Delhi [India], April 5 (ANI): Under the Centre's special thrust on the expansion of road network in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Naxal affected areas, 10, 600 km of roads have already been constructed with an expenditure of approximately Rs 13,000 crore, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said on Tuesday.
Informing the Lok Sabha in a written reply, the Minister further said more than 16,200 km of roads have been approved in LWE affected areas under specific schemes Road Requirement Plan-I (RRP-1) and Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RCPLWEA), and the construction 10, 600 km roads are part of the projects.
The Minister said that the Central government has taken various initiatives on the development front in LWE affected areas with a special thrust on the expansion of road network; improving telecom connectivity; financial inclusion of local population; skill development and education facilities.
Besides, the Minister said 2,343 mobile towers were installed under Phase-l and a work order has been issued for 2,542 towers under phase-II of the Mobile Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas.
"Another 4,312 mobile towers have been approved in LWE affected areas under the scheme for uncovered Aspirational Districts."
For Skill Development of the youth in these areas, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in 47 districts and Skill Development Centres (SDCs) in 34 Districts have been approved with an estimated cost of Rs 407 crore under the "Skill Development Scheme in 47 Districts affected by LWE", said Rai.
Of the 234 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) approved for LWE affected areas till date, 99 EMRS have been approved in the last two years, said the Minister, adding "further, Kendriya Vidyalas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalas (JNVs) have been approved and made functional in all the most LWE affected districts".
For financial inclusion of the populace in LWE affected areas, 4,442 new Post Offices have been opened in the last seven years, Rai said
A total of 1,253 Bank Branches; 1,264 ATMs and 16,808 Banking Correspondents have also been established in the 30 most LWE Affected Districts in the last seven years, he said.
Further, to fill critical gaps in Public Infrastructure and Services in Most LWE Affected Districts, funds are provided to the most LWE Affected Districts under Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme, said the Minister, adding "Rs 3,085 crore has been released to the States under the scheme during the last five years".
On the security front, Rai said, the Central government supports the LWE affected states by providing Central Armed Police Forces battalions, training, funds for modernization of State police forces, equipment and arms, sharing of intelligence, construction of Fortified Police Stations.
The Central government also provides funds for capacity building of the LWE affected States, under various schemes like Security Related Expenditure (SRE) and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), said the Minister.
"Rs 1,623 crore has been released to the LWE affected States under the SRE scheme during the last five years."
Under the Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), projects worth Rs 371 crores for strengthening Special Forces (SF) and Special Intelligence Branches (SIB) and for 250 Fortified Police Stations (FPS) worth Rs 620 crore in vulnerable LWE affected areas have been approved since 2017, he said
Apart from this, Rai said, in the previous SIS/FPS scheme, the Central Government released more than "Rs 1,180 crore for construction of 400 FPS and up-gradation of police infrastructure in the States. Steadfast implementation of the National Policy and Action Plan to Address LWE has resulted in the consistent decline of LWE violence and its geographical spread."
The Minister reiterated that the incidents of LWE violence have reduced by 77 per cent from the all-time high of 2,258 in 2009 to 509 in 2021.
Similarly, he said, resultant deaths (Civilians and Security Forces) have reduced by 85 per cent from the all-time high of 1,005 in 2010 to 147 in 2021.
"The number of Districts reporting LWE violence has also reduced by 48 per cent from 96 in 2010 to 46 in 2021," he added. (ANI)