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Rural funds plea to Munde

New Delhi, May 29: The BJP’s landslide victory in Jharkhand in the recent Lok Sabha polls may have put the Hemant Soren government on shaky ground but one of his ministers set aide all differences to demand special aid of over Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre.

At a meeting with Union rural development minister Gopinath Munde on Wednesday, his Jharkhand counterpart K.N. Tripathy put forward a list of schemes that needed central funds.

Tripathy, the Congress MLA from Daltonganj, was inducted in Hemant’s cabinet, replacing his party colleague Chandra Shekhar Dubey after his open outbursts against senior Congress leaders and the chief minister.

“We need Rs 8,940 to ensure urban amenities in rural areas and 894 most vulnerable gram panchayats. Additional Rs 4,125 crore under the Indira Awas Yojna, Rs 3,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Rs 3,150 crore under the Integrated Watershed Management Programme is required for effective implementation of the schemes in the state. Moreover, another Rs 948 crore is needed for broader coverage under the National Rural Livelihood Mission,” said Tripathy.

In his letter submitted to Munde, Tripathy pointed out 17 out of the total 24 districts in Jharkhand had been declared left-wing extremism affected.

The previous government had launched integrated action plans for all round development of in some of these districts. Those projects needed special support from the Centre, the letter read.

“To tackle the problem of Naxalism, we will have to improve living conditions of the rural people, boost employment opportunities and ensure basic infrastructure like sanitation, houses, roads etc. As many as 3,154 out of 4,423 panchayats are LWE affected. But the state government has identified 894 as the most vulnerable panchayats. Some reputed NGOs will prepare integrated action plans for these selected panchayats based on the needs of the people there. We will send detailed project reports to the central government for consideration and assistance,” the letter read.

Sources said Munde promised the Jharkhand minister that the Centre would “consider the proposals and take steps on the basis of the state government’s track record in implementing various rural schemes”.

Even as Jharkhand is set to go to the Assembly polls later this year, Tripathy insisted there were several months left to start many of these schemes in the state.

“There is no immediate danger to our government. So we want to continue the work we have been doing and take it forward with the help of Modi government, which has come to power at the Centre promising people across the country of all round and non-biased development. Jharkhand has remained neglected for too long. We are right in expecting a changed attitude towards it,” he added.


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