The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Road blueprint to stem red menace

Bokaro/Dhanbad, Feb. 2: Buoyed by the success in curbing Naxalite activities in north Chhotanagpur, inspector-general (IG) B.B. Pradhan has prepared the blueprint of a welfare scheme that can stem the rebel problem.

Pradhan has decided to push for road construction and other development programmes in the seven districts of Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih, Chatra, Koderma, Ramgarh and Hazaribagh. He firmly believes that lack of proper communication is at the root of extremist ideologies and roads are one of the very vital means of communication.

The IG has already sent a draft proposal to the government, seeking better connectivity in these districts under the Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna. The welfare project is likely to cost several crores. Sources in the district police headquarters claimed that better connectivity would help police and the people in two ways. It would generate employment in villages and would facilitate policing.

Pradhan’s plans include construction of roads from Bokaro Thermal Power station to Penk village through Bagda and from Palamau to Pilpilo in Nawadih. Another would connect Parasnath in Giridih to Tundi in Dhanbad. The same road would also connect Vishnugarh — a hard-core red bastion.

Another road, whose blueprint has also been submitted, would start from Konar dam to Singhwara and Tiskopi to Jhumra via Bendi in Gomia. A new road will connect Laiyyo to Rahwan through Jhumra via Jamunijada under Mahuatand police station area. A fourth will stretch from Mirzapur to Araju and Oram, crossing Merudaru in Petarwar.

Plans also include formation of village defence committees and equipping the force with gadgets such as night binoculars. Construction of watchtowers and barracks erecting fencing in sensitive pockets is also part of the plan. The IG is pitching for more bulletproof and anti-landmine vehicles.

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