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Santhal Pargana districts eye IAP tag

New Delhi/Dumka, Dec. 27: Union home and rural development ministries have agreed to Jharkhand’s demand to include all the six Santhal Pargana districts under the Centre’s integrated action plan (IAP) for areas hit by Naxalism.

The proposal has now moved to the Planning Commission for a final nod.

In a letter written to plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, minister of state for home affairs R.P.N. Singh has urged that Dumka, Godda, Deoghar, Jamtara, Pakur and Sahebganj of Jharkhand be included in the scheme as they qualify for the special plan.

IAP, formulated as an additional central assistance scheme on 100 per cent grant basis in November 2010, is granted by home ministry to backward and Naxalite-hit districts and is covered under the Backward Regions Grant Fund.

Guidelines include whether tribal population exceeds 25 per cent, forest area is over 30 per cent and poverty ratio surpasses 50 per cent.

Godda BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who was pushing for special aid for six districts and had raised the issue in the winter session of Parliament, said this inclusion in IAP would help these areas develop.

“After inclusion in the IAP, these districts will separately receive extra annual funds from the Centre to the tune of Rs 30-35 crores for spending on various development work particularly in rural areas. Planning Commission has assured me that my demand will materialise in the next budget proposal. This will go a long way to fight the rebel menace,” Dubey told The Telegraph.

Under this special central scheme, construction of school buildings, Anganvadi centres, drinking water facilities, roads, Panchayat Bhavans, community halls, godowns, public distribution shops, skill development training hubs, minor irrigation, electric lighting infrastructure, health centre, Ashram schools, toilets, passenger waiting hall, special coaching classes, nursing institutions and playgrounds will be undertaken.

“Only development discourages masses from becoming rebels or Maoist sympathisers,” Dubey said.

According to sources, 14 of 24 districts are covered under IAP currently.

The Centre has issued around Rs 1,000 crore to Jharkhand in last two years.

For the past six months, three Santhal Pargana districts — Dumka, Deoghar and Pakurit — are also covered under Union home ministry’s SRE (security-related expenditure) scheme, where the Centre bears anti-Naxalite security costs.


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