The Centre has worked out a package for integrated development of 33 naxal-affected districts across the country as part of a three-pronged strategy to win the hearts and minds of the people.
This was disclosed by Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar, while replying to questions from IPS probationers, after delivering the 24th Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial lecture on "Emerging National Concerns & Crises and Administrative Response" at the S.V.P. National Police Academy here on Friday.
Replying to a question on the development strategy of the Centre to face the challenge of left wing extremism, he said the overall plan, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been saying, was to handle the issue holistically. “We have already worked out a development plan for all 33 affected districts”, he added. An important element of the plan, chalked out carefully by Planning Commission, was to provide connectivity.
The Cabinet had approved a Rs.7,300-crore outlay just for providing roads in those areas.
The third part would focus on tackling the social problems and issues like education, health and making available food grains and essential commodities.
Whatever was being planned by the Home Ministry on the security front was supported by strong developmental efforts.
Answering another question, he lauded AP’s success in tackling Left-wing extremism and said the Greyhounds, (elite commando force) was considered to be effective and a model for others.
Later talking to reporters, he quipped “it depends on them” when asked if there was a possibility of talks with Maoists.
He said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had already indicated that he was willing to talk if they abjured violence.
Asked about the total estimate of the development package, he said plenty of resources were available from a variety of rural development programmes, NREGS, Indira Awas Yojana and others.
Earlier, during his lecture, Mr. Chandrasekhar, said civil servants have to adjust themselves to changing situations. Describing how the Centre had tackled the recent economic crisis, he said the entire economic stimulus package was based on strengthening demand and not to bale out industry.
“Today we have pulled out of woods”.
He also cited how the Satyam challenge was overcome with the help from banks, AP government and leadership of dedicated individuals. Director of the Academy, K.Vijay Kumar welcomed.