On Sunday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Home Office (MHA) to conduct a study to find out how many children living in areas affected by left-wing extremism (LWE) across the country succeed in passing national level tests like NEET, IIT and JEE.
While attending a crucial meeting on LWE chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi, Patnaik put forward five proposals, including a study by MHA. âIf our systems continue to bypass these areas, it will not help the cause of people in areas affected by LWE,â Patnaik said.
Other proposals include:
1. Four-lane road (NH 326) from Jeypore to Motu via Malkangiri. This will provide a parallel route for traffic from eastern India, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to the southern states, particularly Bangalore and Hyderabad. This corridor, in addition to drastically reducing travel time, will also give the region a huge economic boost.
2. The affected LWE neighborhoods are not part of the rail network. The Ministry of Railways and the Odisha government are already building two sections – from Jeypore to Nabarangpur and from Jeypore to Malkangiri – on a cost-sharing basis. However, the missing part between Malkangiri to Bhadrachalam (153 KM) and Nabarangpur to Junagarh (118 KM) can provide a very viable alternative route to the main railway routes and have a huge impact on the economic growth of these regions.
3. Provide mobile connectivity to areas south and west of Odisha. There are 6,278 villages in Odisha without mobile access or connectivity. The Union Home Office recently sanctioned 488 mobile towers for Odisha. But to provide coverage to other uncovered villages, around 2,000 additional mobile base stations are needed. It is also relevant to mention here that most interiors depend on mobile connectivity and mobile internet service for banking, education and the provision of all government services. Today, therefore, the basic need is to have 4G mobile base stations everywhere. It is therefore necessary to upgrade the 2G base stations erected previously.
4. We have failed to create banking facilities in these areas. The state government will provide free land, buildings, etc. for the installation of bank branches. I urge the Union government to take swift action to set up banks within a specific timeframe of around a year. “The commitment of the state government will continue with our proactive security strategy combined with a sustained and holistic development of tribal areas to address the problem of left-wing extremism,” Patnaik said in a statement.