Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Aug 24 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Friday said that the Bastar region is taking a new shape with fruits of development reaching new heights, leaving behind its popular perception of Maoism.
Addressing the audience at the “Bastar Development Dialogue” organised by Hindusthan Samachar news agency, the Chief Minister said here that Bastar is now a peaceful place and has the potential of being developed as a major tourist destination.
“We have constructed about 1,800 km of roads and have electrified almost all the villages. Besides that, health, education and connectivity has improved a lot,” he said.
Recalling the sacrifices made for the development of the region, he said that it took four years to construct 15 km roads initially and during the process at least nine security personnel sacrificed their lives.
“It is easy to construct roads in plain areas but very tough in difficult terrains. No one had dared to take the risk of constructing roads. Even if some construction company came forward, they left the work mid-way and fled due to security concerns. These issues increased the cost of the construction,” he said.
He said that with development taking new shape in Bastar region, its greenery, the natural beauty and most importantly the connectivity, all have the potential to develop the region as a major tourist destination.
“The Bastar region is entering a new era. A BPO, which is not less than any BPO of Bangalore, is active in Jangla of Bastar. Bastar is a model for aspirational districts of the state,” he said.
The Chief Minister urged the media not to present Bastar through the prism of Maoism only.
“Maoism has gone away now and Bastar is peaceful. People of the region hate violence. We are leaving no stone unturned to change the face of Bastar,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Sinha hailed the efforts of Raman Singh, saying he has changed the face of the Bastar region with his positive vision.
“The media always highlights the negative things but as far as my view is concerned, it should also focus on positive things if a government is working hard for developing the most backward region,” he said.
Participating in the dialogue, senior journalist N.K. Singh said that development in difficult terrains is a challenge and the Raman Singh government has successfully done this in Chhattisgarh.