Chief Minister Eknath Shinde expressed the need for an empowered system to prevent spread of urban naxalism through the internet while addressing a meeting on LWE at Delhi on Friday.
CM Shinde also said that the state shall soon eradicate Naxalism out of the Gadchiroli district.
"On one hand, while curbing Naxalism, on the other hand, due to the effective implementation of various development schemes in the Naxal-affected areas over the past year, we will soon succeed in completely eradicating Naxalism in areas like Gadchiroli," he said with confidence.
Shinde was speaking at a meeting organized by the Home Ministry at the Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi, discussing the situation arising out of Left Wing Extremism. The Union Home Minister Amit Shah presided over the meeting. The state's Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik, Director General of Police Rajnish Seth, and Chief Minister's Principal Secretary Brijesh Singh were present.
Urban Naxalism propagated through internet, social media: Shinde
Urban Naxalism is being propagated through the internet and social media, and there is a need to create an effective mechanism to stop it, the CM Shinde said.
Every year, billions of rupees are sent to Naxalites. To stop this money transaction, a joint group of ED, IT, and Financial Intelligence Unit should be formed to thoroughly investigate this, he added.
Railway network in Naxal-affected areas
Shinde also emphasized the need to expand the railway network in Naxal-affected areas. He said that if the railway network is developed in the border areas of Gadchiroli, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana, it will be very beneficial for development. If the railway network from Mancherial in Telangana to Sironcha and then from Bhopalpatnam in Chhattisgarh to Jagdalpur, and similarly, from Aheri to Shirpur (Kagaznagar) is developed, it will benefit the Surjagad iron project and overall development.
In the Maoist-affected areas, 3 out of 9 Eklavya Model Schools are operational. Construction of 4 schools is underway. The land issue for two schools in Korchi and Dhanora was resolved this month, CM Shinde stated, adding that injured police officers in Naxal operations need immediate medical attention. However, due to DGCA rules, night landings are not permitted. Like the military, we should be allowed to land helicopters at night during operations and rescue missions.
State government's appeal in the Supreme Court against the release of G.N. Saibaba was accepted due to the continuous efforts of the Maharashtra Police and the role of Home Minister Fadnavis. Milind Teltumbde was killed in an encounter in Mardan Tola. Currently, 49% of active Naxal cadres in Maharashtra are from Chhattisgarh. There are 4 joint task force camps on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border, CM Shinde said.
Special Task Force, Special Intelligence Bureau, and fortified police stations are being enhanced with special basic facilities, with an expenditure of 61.35 crores. There are 20 fortified police stations in Gadchiroli. The capacity of the task force is being increased with an expenditure of 12 crores. The construction will be completed by March 2025. Approval has been given for 25 officers and 500 staff for new police stations, said CM Shinde.
In the Naxal-affected areas, 46 roads and 108 bridges are being constructed with an expenditure of 883 crores. The total length of these roads is approximately 620 km. In the last year, 30 new roads with a length of 415 km were constructed. Of the remaining 16 roads, 8 will be completed by the end of this year, and the remaining 8 by March of the next year. Out of 108 bridges, 90 have been completed, 10 will be completed by the end of the year, and the remaining 8 by March 2024. The Chief Minister also informed that work on 4 bridges connecting Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra across the Indravati river will start soon with an expenditure of 91 crores.
Enhancing mobile connectivity
For enhancing mobile connectivity, work on 66 out of 88 towers has started, and 32 towers have been initiated. Under the BSNL 4G project, work on 73 out of 405 towers in Naxal-affected districts is in progress, and 15 towers have been initiated. All land acquisition processes for all towers are complete. Under the Aspirational Districts program, 36 out of 350 towers in three districts have been operationalized, and land acquisition has been completed for 90% of the cases.
The state has granted permission for mining activities in the Gadchiroli district. Due to the commencement of mining operations at Surjagad, both direct and indirect employment opportunities have been provided to 5,000 individuals. Through Lloyd Metals Limited, an integrated steel plant is being established with an investment of 20,000 crores, which will employ 7,000 individuals. In addition to this, there is a readiness for an investment of 1 lakh crores in the Gadchiroli district. The Samruddhi Expressway, which was previously limited to Nagpur, is now being extended by us to Bhandara, Gondia, and Gadchiroli. Now, industries like the Tata Group are assisting the government in skill development through their CSR initiatives in Gadchiroli. We are also assisting farmers in Gadchiroli to take their agricultural produce and products to large markets like Nagpur, the CM said at the meeting.