Centre to declare more districts Naxal-hit

The Centre is learnt to have decided to clear the request of Naxal-hit states for declaring more districts as extreme Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected districts.

If included in the list of LWE-hit districts, these areas would start receiving special Central funds for security and infrastructure -related expenses under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme. Among the states that will benefit are Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

The Centre is also likely to bring 20 more districts in the Naxal-hit states under its Integrated Action Plan, under which these districts would also be entitled to receive 100 per cent Central grants for schemes aimed at addressing the issues of healthcare, drinking water, education and roads.

Currently, 60 districts receive Rs 25 crore each for schemes earmarked by a committee headed by the district collector. Sources said a proposal to add 20 more districts to this list has been sent by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to the Planning Commission.

It has been a longstanding demand of most of the Naxal-affected states that more districts be declared LWE-affected to ensure more funds. In February, during the meeting of CMs on internal security chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had demanded inclusion of four more districts under the SRE scheme. Currently, 15 districts are covered by SRE.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been pressing the Centre to include five more districts to the list of 15.

At a meeting of the DGPs of nine Maoist-affected states here today, chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram, the Centre said over 100 police stations in Maoist-hit areas would get Rs 2 crore each for construction of new buildings, residential complex and to buy arms and communication equipment. The Centre will also provide more helicopters to Naxal-hit states.

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