Orissa ready to take panchayat functionaries in IAP

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Bhubaneswar: With the Planning Commission denouncing "bureaucratisation" of the recently launched Integrated Action Paln (IAP) to contain red terror, Orissa government on Thursday said was ready to take panchayat functionaries in the plan.

"District collectors are free to take any member from panchayat bodies or civil societies in the implementation of IAP," Planning and Coordination department special secretary R V Singh told reporters here.

Singh`s remark came in wake of Planning Commission`s objection to the modalities of implementation of the IAP.

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

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

Under the IAP each of the selected 60 Naxal-hit districts are to get Rs 25 crore this year for development work like setting up schools, health facilities, roads and access to safe drinking water. In the second year, the amount of funds will go up to Rs 30 crore. A total of Rs 859 crore will be spent in the state, the Home secretary said.

However, contrary to the Planning Commission`s suggestions of taking civil society and PRIs in the IAP, the district collector, district superintendent of police and divisional forest officer were entrusted with the job of implementing the plan.

Unhappy over the implementation mode, the Plan panel has written a letter to the Prime Minister saying it may not help in fulfilling the purpose.

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