Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged the district Collectors of Maoist-affected Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Gajapati districts to expedite implementation of various welfare programmes to ensuresocio-economic development of the people in that region.

Presiding over a high-level meeting held at the State Secretariat to review the progress of various developmental projects and income- generation schemes, Mr. Patnaik directed the district administrations concerned to ensure timely utilisation of the funds earmarked under various programmes.

The Chief Minister, who reviewed the programmes related to agriculture, irrigation, communication, food supplies and consumer welfare, forest, national rural employment guarantee scheme and law and order, asked the administration officials to regularly meet people and hear their grievances.

The meeting was attended by top officials of all the government departments concerned as well as the district Collectors and Superintendents of Police of the four districts.

Mr. Patnaik also stressed the need for proper implementation of the forest rights law in order to grant land rights to the families having no rights over the land where they have been living since long.

Vacancies

The Chief Minister also issued instructions for filling up of vacancies in government departments to ensure implementation of the developmental programmes.

If necessary, the district administration can outsource some work to achieve the desired results, the meeting was informed.

As many mobile phone towers were being damaged by the Maoists in the interior districts, it was decided at the meeting to initiative steps for use of satellite phones in the Maoist-affected districts.

New posts

The meeting also decided that new posts would be created to oversee the work of the Special Police Officers.

Five thousands Special Police Officers were working at present in the Maoist-dominated zones of the State.