Orissa ready to take panchayat functionaries in IAP

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 13 (PTI) With the Planning Commissiondenouncing "bureaucratisation" of the recently launchedIntegrated Action Paln (IAP) to contain red terror, Orissagovernment today said was ready to take panchayatfunctionaries in the plan.

"District collectors are free to take any member frompanchayat bodies or civil societies in the implementation ofIAP," Planning and Coordination department special secretary RV Singh told reporters here.

Singh''s remark came in wake of Planning Commission''sobjection to the modalities of implementation of the IAP.

Of the 60 districts chosen in the country, 15Maoist-hit districts of Orissa are covered under the IAP. Thedistricts are - Malkangiri, Koraput, Nawrangpur, Rayagada,Gajapati, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur, Kandhamal,Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Deogarh and Sambalpur.

"IAP will certainly help in motivating local peopleagainst left wing extremism," Home secretary U N Behera saidadding the first instalment of the funds available under theIAP had been given to district collectors.

Under the IAP each of the selected 60 Naxal-hitdistricts are to get Rs 25 crore this year for developmentwork like setting up schools, health facilities, roads andaccess to safe drinking water. In the second year, the amountof funds will go up to Rs 30 crore. A total of Rs 859 crorewill be spent in the state, the Home secretary said.

However, contrary to the Planning Commission''ssuggestions of taking civil society and PRIs in the IAP, thedistrict collector, district superintendent of police anddivisional forest officer were entrusted with the job ofimplementing the plan.

Unhappy over the implementation mode, the Plan panelhas written a letter to the Prime Minister saying it may nothelp in fulfilling the purpose.

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