Forest, banking in Naxal-affected villages discussed

Zonal meet: Forest, banking issues in Naxal-affected villages discussed

"The Union Home Minister exhorted the members (of the council) to resolve the issues relating to forest clearance and provide brick-and-mortar banking facility within 5-km radius in each village, particularly in Naxal areas," a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said. Credit: PTI Photo

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said issues related to pending forest clearances and banking facility in close vicinity of villages, particularly in Naxal-affected areas, will be resolved.

He was speaking at the Central Zonal Councils meeting, officials said.

The meeting was attended by Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

"The Union Home Minister exhorted the members (of the council) to resolve the issues relating to forest clearance and provide brick-and-mortar banking facility within 5-km radius in each village, particularly in Naxal areas," a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said.

If a particular town had more banks than needed, these may be shifted to deficient areas, he asserted.

He called upon the states to adhere to the timeline of two months for completion of heinous offences under POCSO Act.

In the meeting, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat sought financial assistance from the Centre for development of 'char dhams' (Hindu pilgrimage centres), organising Kumbh Mela and modernisation of police forces, the release said.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke about various initiatives taken by his government, including construction of 30 lakh houses under PM Awas Yoyana, 2.5 lakh toilets and giving 1.20 lakh electricity connections under Saubhagya.

MP CM Kamal Nath discussed about the peculiar nature of his state having largest tribal area and requested that it not be compared with other states, it said.

Nath sought more Central assistance for the crops destroyed due to excess rains, it added.

The council first deliberated upon unconditional acceptance of procured coarse grainunder Price Support Scheme (PSS), revision of 'state cap' fixed for implementation of NSAP (Pension) Scheme, holding inter state coordination meeting to take prompt action against criminals, amendment in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) guidelines, amendment in section 78 of Information Technology Act, and declaration ofScheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The meeting had in depth scrutiny of issues relating to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, particularly in Maoist affected areas, the statement added.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the Union Home minister assured to take necessary steps on issues raised.

In the meeting, Shah gave consent for development of Raipur Airport as an international airport and also assured of discussing with the civil aviation ministry a proposal to start flights from Bilaspur, Baghel said.

"I urged that a special package of Rs 11,443.76 crore, pending with the Union government, be approved as soon as possible for development of aspirational districts and Naxal affected areas. The home minister assured of all help in this," the Chhattisgarh CM said.

"We have also demanded that investigation of Jhiram Ghati incident (wherein senior Congress leaders were killed in Naxal attack in 2013) should be given back to the state because justice was not given to us," Baghel said.

NIA probed the case but overlooked several key points, he added.

The issue of nearly one lakh tribal people, who have migrated from Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh to Telangana and were unable to avail benefits of caste certificates, was also raised in the meeting, he added.

Baghel said he also requested the union minister to include Chhattisgarh in the group comprising Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra for better development here.