Maharashtra and the Government of India have joined hands to upgrade the physical infrastructure of naxal-affected Gadchiroli district. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, along with State Ministers Ashok Chavan and Eknath Shinde, through a video conference on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the bridges and road projects across Wainganga, Bandiya, Perikota and Perimill rivers worth Rs 777 crore and inaugurated five roads. The construction of these key bridges and the national highway connectivity in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana will be completed.
Gadkari said that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved 44 road projects of 541 km in length with an outlay of Rs 1,740 crore alone for the Gadchiroli district. “The all-weather road network in the far flung areas of naxal-affected Gadchiroli district will improve the socio-economic development in the region. In the upcoming two years or so, it will see an all-round transformation.” He informed that the bridge across Indravati river was completed under very trying and war-like conditions, as a police station had to be set up in order to help complete the construction.
Minister of State and former Army Chief VK Singh said the construction of these roads and upcoming projects will go a long way in mainstreaming people living in left wing extremist areas. “With more and more infrastructure projects coming up in these areas, the extremism is coming down gradually,’’ he noted.
Chavan said the road development in Gadchiroli will help industrial development, job creation and uplift the living standard of its people. It will also help in maintaining law and order.
Shinde, who is Gadchiroli district’s guardian minister, stated that the state government has laid emphasis to curb the naxal menace by taking up a slew of development projects. He opined that with the inauguration of five roads and upcoming bridges, there will be better connectivity for its localites even during monsoon.
Incentive for police personnel
In a related development, the Maharashtra government, in a bid to boost the morale of the police and security personnel in Gadchiroli district, has decided to pay one and half times more salary and dearness allowance. This will also be applicable to police and security personnel from Gondia district. The state government, two days ago, had released notification in this regard.