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Red zone on path to progress
- Maoist turfs in Bokaro get ready to taste fruits of development, while shutdown paralyses hinterland

Bokaro, Dec. 28: It could be another Saranda in the making, minus the “free from Maoists” tag, but with the development part.

Residents of Maoist hotbeds Jhumra and Nawadih in Bokaro can hope to see an end to all their woes vis-à-vis poor facilities in 2013. The Bokaro district administration has promised to not only arm Jhumra, especially Gomia, and Upperghat (Nawadih block) with proper roads, water, health and power facilities by the end of next year, but also provide skill-based training to unemployed youths and women so that they can earn livelihood.

The projects, which are part of an attempt to reach out and befriend the poor, hapless villagers who get lured into joining the Maoists, are being speeded up in view of a visit by Union minister Jairam Ramesh, who played a pivotal role in bring development to Saranda, next month.

At a high-level meeting chaired by Bokaro deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar and superintendent of police Kuldeep Dwivedi on Friday, all ongoing departmental works was reviewed and new government projects sanctioned. Officials of forest, road, water and sanitation, electricity and other departments attended the meeting.

According to sources, the progress report mentioned that construction of a 14km stretch from Rahawan to Jhumra at a cost of Rs 19 crore had taken up pace. Security personnel had been deployed at the sites to prevent any attempt by Maoists to stop construction. The crucial link connecting Rahawan, via Pachmo, Jataiyya, Taand, Biyahi, Mahua, Pannatand, Jamnijara with Jhumra will be completed by the end of 2013.

Bokaro DC also sanctioned more than half a dozen transformers for the two blocks that have already been covered under the electrification project. Once the transformers were fixed, Jhumra and Nawadih will be lit up.

“As many as 155 people from the Naxalite strongholds, including 55 women, have been sent for training at the technical tool rooms in Dumka and Ranchi. Another batch of 50 will be sent soon while 120 youths will be given driving training. Many of these youths will be absorbed by the police itself once vacancies for drivers are announced by the department,” Kumar told The Telegraph after the meeting.

This apart, the Bokaro administration sanctioned construction of two big ponds in Jhumra, where natural water that flows from the hilly region, will be collected and later used.

At least four overhead water tanks will be constructed to ensure incessant supply of drinking water to the residents.


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