Govt plans special census drive in Naxal-hit areas

Written by: Mamatha
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New Delhi, Aug 1: Now the government is thinking to launch a special drive census operations in Maoist-hit areas.

Only about half the population in worst Maoist-hit areas have enrolled their names and gave personal information in the census operations.

"It is just around 50 per cent people who took part in the census. We understand the difficulties faced by people in Maoist areas. Since enrolling people in the census operation is beneficial to them only, we are considering to launch a special drive in such areas," a Home Ministry official said.

"In some cases, enumerators are even not permitted to enter the houses," the official said.

In many Naxal-affected areas, the enumerators could not visit the households due to fear of the extremists while in some cases people did not cooperate following Maoist diktat.

After the house listing and housing census along with collection of data on National Population Register (NPR), unique ID numbers will be provided for each citizen in the country.

The NPR will help in better targeting of benefits and services under the government programmes, improve planning and help strengthen security of the country.

"The ID number will help people get ration under PDS, various development schemes, open bank accounts and in other day-to-day uses," the official said.

According to an estimate, about 40,000 sq km area in Naxal-affected states are under the control of Maoists. Altogether 35 districts in seven states are considered to be worst affected by the menace.

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