Rs 120 cr to fortify police stations in Naxal area

New Delhi: With non-Congress chief ministers opposing the proposed NCTC, the Home Ministry now seems to be trying to reach out to them by releasing the first instalment of Rs 120 crore for construction of 400 fortified police stations, mostly in Naxal-hit areas of these states.

As part of a decision of the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Home Ministry has identified 83 worst Naxal-hit districts to construct or strengthen 400 fortified police stations at a cost of Rs 2 crore each.

The Ministry has released Rs 120 crore — Rs 30 lakh each – as first supplementary grant for incurring expenditure on these police stations located in nine Left-wing extremism affected states.

The states which will be benefited most are Bihar (85 police stations), Chhattisgarh (75), Jharkhand (75), Odisha (70), West Bengal (18) and Madhya Pradesh (12). Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Chhattisgarh`s Raman Singh, Jharkhand`s Arjun Munda, Odisha`s Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal`s Mamata Banerjee and Madhya Pradesh`s Shivraj Singh Chouhan have come out strongly against setting up of NCTC.

All these non-Congress chief ministers had complained that the Central government was planning to set up the anti-terror hub without any consultation with them.

Following their protests, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram wrote separate letters to them trying to allay their apprehensions.

The remaining of the 400 police stations, 40 will be constructed in Andhra Pradesh, 15 in Uttar Pradesh and 10 in Maharashtra.

Under the scheme, the Centre would assist the state government on 80:20 basis — 80 per cent of the cost to be borne by the Centre while remaining 20 per cent by the state.

The state government will ensure a minimum strength of 40 police personnel is maintained in each of these police stations.

The level of violence in Naxal-affected states is still unacceptably high with 447 civilians and 142 security personnel killed in 2011.

Apart from various Centrally-sponsored schemes, the Union government is implementing the special Integrated Action Plan in 78 worst Maoist-hit districts to carry out different development programmes.

Under the IAP, the government sanctioned Rs 25 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 30 crore in 2011-12 to each of these districts through which 63,416 projects were set up and 26,593 projects completed, incurring an expenditure of Rs 1,391 crore till 2011. The funds for the project are placed at the disposal of a committee headed by the district collector to oversee its implementation.

Among the projects undertaken under IAP scheme, providing drinking water, sanitation and electricity facilities together account for nearly 30 per cent of the projects. Setting up of school infrastructure accounts 16 per cent and anganwadi centres 13.5 per cent.