Ramesh seeks PM’s help to boost roads in Maoist-hit areas

September 14th, 2011 - 12:49 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) With an eye on progress in Maoist-affected areas, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Tuesday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention for additional Rs.35,000 crore for connecting habitations in 60 districts under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in three years.

At the end of a workshop “Appropriate Development Strategies for Effective Implementation of Rural Development Schemes in IAP (integrated action plan) Districts”, Ramesh announced the ministry’s intention to launch Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow Programme.

It will entail recruitment of young professionals in 25-30 years age group to work in IAP districts for a period of 2-3 years and support the district collector in the field.

The young professionals will be recruited and paid for their services by the ministry.

“It is a way of giving youth opportunity for public service,” Ramesh said.

Announcing key conclusions at the workshop which was addressed by several collectors from Maoist-affected districts, he said allocation of PMGSY in 2011-12 was Rs.20,000 crore.

He said an additional Rs.35,000 crore were required in IAP districts alone over the next three years to cover all habitations with population above 100.

The ministry had decided to provide flexibility in road construction norms by allowing manual tendering in some Maoist affected blocks for a year and enhancing time period of construction, he said.

Referring to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Ramesh said one panchayat development officer and junior engineer will be appointed in each gram panchayat in the IAP districts.

He said special local recruitment should be allowed for filling up posts for central government offices such as banks and post offices in IAP districts.

Referring to the National Rural Livelihood Mission, he said all 60 districts will be covered under it by March 31, 2013, and placement-linked jobs will be provided to 300,000 unemployed youth.

He said Maoist violence affected families belonging to economically weaker sections will be eligible for IAP houses.

Ramesh said the government intended to extend IAP to 20 more Maoist-hit districts. He said Home Minister P. Chidambaram had already announced that Planning Commission had approved addition of 18 more districts.

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