Assurances of developing Maoist infested areas remain only on paper

Assurances of developing Maoist infested areas remain only on paper

A year ago, when the district administration promised of providing infrastructure facilities to the Maoist infested 11 villages in Belthangady taluk, the villagers anticipated for a better tomorrow. But, they are disappointed again, as the assurances they had recieved have not been materialised yet.

It was on June 30, 2012, that the district administration and police department took a lead and convened a public contact programme to address the grievances of people from Maoist affected villages, at Kolli in Belthangady taluk. The meeting witnessed a large number of villagers pouring out their grievances that had gone unheard for a long time. Then the district administration made a sea of assurances including the construction of roads and bridges, providing jobs to unemployed youth, filling the vacancies in schools and anganawadis, repairing or replacing solar lights etc, thus kindling the hope among villagers.

In fact, the district administration immediately ordered for preparing an action plan for comprehensive development of these villages and within a few months, the administration got an amount of Rs 5 crore sanctioned from the government for implementing the development work. But, the implementation of work in snail’s progress, has disappointed the villagers.

Roads not developed

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Adivasi Hakkugala Samanvaya Samithi Taluk convener, Shekhar Laila said that though the district administration had promised of laying roads to the interior villages, no new roads have been laid so far. “They have made patch work on a few roads like Kuthlur-Alamba, but what is the use when they have not laid new roads. The district administration had assured of co-ordinating with the forest department and obtaining clearance to construct roads within Kuduremukh National Park on priority basis. But the fact that no new road work has started, only proves that administration has failed to co-ordinate with the forest department. Then what is the point in giving empty promises?” he asked.

He also complained that damaged solar lights in several houses including in Naravi gram panchayat limits have not repaired or replaced till date.

The broken bridge that connects Navoor is still the same as it was a year ago, reflecting the official apathy. With no bridge to walk, the villagers have found temporary solution by laying wooden logs across the stream.

Mittabagilu Gram Panchayat Vice President Vinay Mittabagilu said that no visible development work has taken place in his village after the meeting. “They say that government has granted Rs five crore for comprehensive development, but nothing much has happened here. Roads are as worse as before, bridges are broken, solar lights are not repaired, youth are not given employment,” he said.

The district administration’s another assurance of providing jobs to tribal youth in KSRTC too fell flat due to the KSRTC rules and regulations. Over 120 applications submitted by the youth from Maoist affected villages were rejected by the central division, breaking their dreams.

‘Minor works completed’

Giving details about the work progress, Deputy Commissioner N Prakash said of the Rs five crore sanctioned by the government, work worth Rs one crore has been completed while the tender process is under progress for the remaining works. “Rs one crore was utilised for taking up small works like road repair, while major works like construction of roads and bridges will be taken up in the later stages. Of the 40 houses where solar lights were damaged, 15 solar light units were repaired in Maoist affected villages at a cost of Rs 3.5 lakh under Integrated Tribal Development Project,” he said.