Brief on India’s Counter Naxal Strategy
The steadfast implementation of National Policy and Action Plan has resulted in considerable improvement in LWE scenario over the years in the LWE affected States
‘Police’ and ‘Public order’ being State subjects, the primary responsibility of meeting the challenge of LWE lies with the State Governments. However, the Central Government monitors the situation closely, supplements and coordinates the efforts of the State Governments. A National Policy and Action Plan to address LWE problem has been put in place that envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security related measures, developmental interventions, ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities etc.
On security front, the Central Government assists the LWE affected State Governments by providing Central Armed Police Forces battalions, training, funds for modernization of State police forces, equipment & arms, sharing of intelligence etc. On development side, the Central Government has taken various measures including construction of roads, strengthening of communications network, installation of mobile towers, improving network of banks, post offices, health and education facilities in the LWE areas through concerned Ministries.
Road Requirement Plan-I (RRP-I) envisages construction of 5,422 kms roads at estimated cost of ? 8,593 crore. The scheme includes 454 km roads and 2 critical bridges at Indravati and Godavari rivers in Maharashtra, of which 412 km and 01 bridge at Godavari river has been completed.
Road Connectivity Project for LWE areas (RRP-II) envisages construction of other district roads and village roads at estimated cost of ?11,275 crore including 132 kms roads in Maharashtra worth ? 270 crore. Mobile tower projects to improve mobile connectivity are under implementation in two Phases. So far, 2235 (65 in Maharashtra) have been installed under Phase-I and 4072 towers (136 in Maharashtra) are now planned in Phase-II at an outlay of ? 7330 crore.
For financial inclusion in LWE areas, Department of Posts sanctioned 1788 Branch Post Offices (142 in Maharashtra) in Phase-I in 32 most LWE affected districts, 1484 Branch Post Offices (142 in Maharashtra) have become functional. Further, Department of Financial Services has opened 604 new bank branches and installed 987 ATMs in 30 most LWE affected districts in 45 months (31.03.15 to 31.12.18).
This includes 9 bank branches and 32 ATMs in Maharashtra. The Government of India has approved Special Central Assistance (SCA) Scheme for the most LWE affected districts, under which funds are provided to States for filling the critical gaps in public infrastructure & services which are of urgent nature. So far ? 775 crore has been released to the States, of which ? 25 crore has been released to Maharashtra for Gadchiroli district.
The steadfast implementation of National Policy and Action Plan has resulted in considerable improvement in LWE scenario over the years in the LWE affected States as reflected by decline in number of LWE incidents and shrinkage in geographical spread of LWE influence.