RANCHI: Taking forward development strategy to keep Maoists at bay in Jharkhand, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said a special programme would begin in Latehar from October to drive out the ultras from the district.
“A presentation was today given by the state government and I gave the go ahead for implementation of the Saryu Special Development Programme covering 12 panchayats and four blocks in Latehar district. It will begin from October,” Ramesh said.
The name of the programme comes from Saryu, a village in Latehar district about 130 km from Ranchi, from where the security forces drove out Maoists after a relentless operation in the past six months.
Expressing satisfaction at the ongoing Saranda Development Programme in West Singhbhum district covering six panchayats, Ramesh said “Two rural roads will be completed within the next 15 days and 11 other roads to be completed in the next 12 months.”
Ramesh said out of 2,500 km of roads under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana 687 km were completed in the state and the rest expected to be finished by the end of this fiscal.
The state government urged the union minister to extend road bridges from 75 metres to 100 metres across the states.
“Earlier it was 50 metre and we agreed to extend them to 75 metre in Maoist-affected areas. Now the state government has asked for extension to 100 metres. I told them I would look into it, and we are in a situation to approve it,” he said.
He said that the Centre would also consider an increase in funds for labour from the 25 per cent to 30 per cent.
On the poor electricity situation in rural areas, Ramesh said efforts being made to supply drinking water using solar energy-driven machinery.
Stating that distribution of housing to 5,500 BPL families had hit some roadblocks, Ramesh said, he had asked the State Bank of India, Bank of India and Canara Bank to help beneficiaries to open accounts in banks.