Two Assam districts may be declared Maoist-affected

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 01, 2012 13:10 hrs

Guwahati, Dec 1 (IANS) The central government is likely to declare two districts of Assam as Maoist-affected, making them eligible for special benefits, Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said Saturday.

"Dibrugarh and Tinsukia may join the list of (such) districts as the ministry has moved a proposal to the Planning Commission," Raman told the media. "We expect an announcement soon."

Ramesh added: "There are intelligence reports that Maoist activities are on the rise in the two districts."

Dibrugarh and Tinsukia will receive a package of Rs.30 crore each annually for developmental activities under the Planning Commission's Integrated Action Plan (IAP).

Currently, 82 districts in the country are covered under the plan.

Ramesh's statement assumes significance as Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has taken up the issue of Maoist activities in Assam with Prime Minister Monmohan Singh, who is an MP from the state.

During Manmohan Singh's visit to Assam in April, Gogoi asked him to include seven districts under IAP.

The state government has asked deputy commissioners of the seven districts to implement more developmental schemes to contain the spread of Maoists.

Ramesh said the central cabinet had approved a plan to reduce household density criteria of 500 to 250 for construction of roads in hilly and tribal areas of the northeastern region.

He said the government had built 13,000 km of rural roads in the northeast in 11 years at a cost of Rs.7,100 crore and was likely to clear proposals for another 4,500 km of roads this fiscal.

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