Chhattisgarh Police wants revamped road links in Naxal-hit belt

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Raipur, Oct 4: To keep a close watch on inter-state movement of Naxals, Chhattisgarh Police has recommended improvement of road connectivity to strategic locations near border areas of Maoist-hit Bastar region.

Police have recommended construction of 40 roads in Bastar to help inter-state operations with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra besides accelerating the economic activities in the area.

The recommendation also includes improvement of road connectivity between several police stations for swift mobilisation of security forces in restive Bastar, spread across an area of about 44,000 sq kms. "Secure road connectivity is the backbone of effective anti-Naxal operations and logistic and administrative support.

Recently, we have identified different locations and recommended construction of around 40 roads in the region," Additional Director General of Police (Naxal operations) RK Vij said.

"It includes development of inter–state highways and connectivity between several police stations of southern districts namely Sukma, Narayanpur and others," he said.

"We have always got a positive response from the state on our recommendations," he expressed. Being well acquainted with the dense forests and hilly terrain in the region, the Naxals easily move from one place to other.

Contrary to this, security forces face serious trouble in the movement during operations due to lack of road connectivity, an intelligence bureau official said, on condition of anonymity.

Police have recommended construction of 40 roads in Bastar.

"In the recent Darbha Naxal incident, cadres fled to Odisha after executing the attack within few hours. To tackle with ultras, during such eventualities we need better routes," the IB official said.

Highlighting some important inter-state roads, the IB official said a bridge is required to be constructed at Bhopalpatnam of Bijapur district across Indravati River on NH-16 so that Jagdalpur is directly connected to Nizamabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Nagpur (Maharashtra).

Likewise, NH-202 is connecting Bijapur via Bhopalpatnam to Hyderabad where 40 kms stretch in Chhattisgarh state is 'kutcha road' and a bridge is required across river Chinta Vagu near Bhadrakali.

Once it comes up, inter-state operations with AP can be made smoother, he said. Widening and repairing of NH-221, connecting Jagdalpur to Hyderabad via Sukma-Konta, will have the same effect, he said.

Also, development and construction activities in Naxal affected areas can be achieved on provision of security cover. "Security component" is an integral part of development, he said.

Therefore, 3-4 per cent of the cost of projects in Left Wing extremism areas should be earmarked for the security component, he suggested.


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