Fear of Maoists stall development work in Jharkhand

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 21, 2012 09:50 hrs

Several development projects are stalled in Maoist-infested areas near Jharkhand's Ranchi city as labourers dread of being attacked by the ultras, leading to poor infrastructure facilities in the region.

Maoists have attacked many schools, hospitals, and government institutions and this offensive has severely affected children's education and has brought normal life to a standstill.

The locals complained that the incomplete work is creating problems for them, as they are unable to travel to the city due to poor condition of the road.

"The roads are in dilapidated condition in the Maoist infested area, because of which villagers are suffering. There is no connectivity between the villages and the administration is also not paying heed. In one way or the other, the rebels obstruct development of villages. On one hand, the ultras say that they are fighting for development of the poor but they themselves are halting the development work," said a student, Rahul Kumar.

Half laid roads and partially constructed buildings are a common sight in the villages. The muddy roads have potholes filled with rainwater and the woes of the patients aggravated as many lost their lives while commuting.

Villagers said that the poor condition of the roads added to their misery as it made it difficult for them to go to the hospitals. The administration also failed to pay heed to the repeated appeals of the villagers to repair the roads.

"We are facing problems. It becomes difficult for us to take delivery patients to the hospital and due to poor condition of the roads, even the ambulance does not come to the villages. This situation has prevailed from last 12 years. Our children face problems while going to school; accidents frequently occur on these roads as potholes are filled with rain water," said a local, Karuna Devi.

According to analysts, the Maoists oppose all development activities such as the construction of roads, schools, hospitals, drip irrigation and drinking water facilities.

Contractors are killed, schools are torched, electric poles are pulled down and projects, which could lead to development, are halted. For, if development comes to the area, Maoists fear that their support base will diminish.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Ranchi, Ram Gulam Sharma said the dilapidated condition of the roads is a big hindrance in anti-Maoist operations. The poor condition of the roads makes it easy for the rebels to plant landmines to attack the security personnel.

"The contractors are living under the threat of Maoists and they have stalled the road construction projects. We provide them full security. However, they fear that the police will provide security for completing the project but later the rebels may attack and kill them," said Sharma. (ANI)

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