ANDHRA PRADESH

Cabinet nod for more forces

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Toughening its stand against naxalites, the State Cabinet, at its meeting here on Saturday, cleared a proposal by the police seeking two CRPF battalions and one from India Reserve Police for maintenance of law and order in the State.

Each battalion consists of 1,000 personnel.

Briefing reporters later, the Home Minister, K. Jana Reddy, said the Central forces were sought not to target the Maoists but to supplement police efforts in tackling a variety of other problems such as faction fights.

The Centre promised full help when the State's peculiar law and order problems and its needs were explained.

At its hour-long meeting, the Cabinet gave its nod for release of Rs. 5 crores to modernise the police force.

As a follow-up of the meetings of the Chief Ministers of 12 States affected by left wing extremism, he said, three committees were formed to review the situation periodically and suggest measures.

Subsidised power

The first committee comprised the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the second, the principal secretaries of Home and the third with special secretaries (Home) and DGPs. The Cabinet resolved to release a sum of Rs 4.5 crores towards supply of subsidised electricity to the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Puttaparthi as a token of recognition of its services to the needy.

Approval was given to increase the strength of agriculture market committees to 18 from the present 14.

There would be five nominees on them hereafter representing SCs, STs, BCs, minorities and women.

The Cabinet reviewed the Praja Patham programme and expressed satisfaction that it had established a link between people and their elected representatives. Instructions were issued to district officials to give top priority to drinking water and power supply, the two problems highlighted by the villagers.

The programme would be closed with district level "praja sadassu" on May 12 and a State-level one in Hyderabad on May 14.

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