Govt’s infra scheme for Maoist-hit states extended till March end

Aimed at strengthening the Special Forces or intelligence branches in Maoist-hit states, the Centre has extended the duration of its ongoing Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) till March end.

The SIS including construction of 250 Fortified Police Stations (FPS) in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas is going on since 2017. The scheme was initially approved for a period of three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

“Now, SIS scheme has been further extended up to March 31, 2021,” Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In a written reply, the Minister said that the Scheme envisages upgradation and strengthening of Special Forces (SFs) or Special Intelligence Branches (SIBs) of states along with construction of 250 fortified police stations.

“Proposals of 10 states with respect to Special Forces or SIBs for an amount of Rs 371 crore and projects of seven states worth Rs 620 crore for construction of 250 FPS were sanctioned.”

Though, the Minister clarified, the scheme is implemented on reimbursement basis and an amount of Rs 152.67 crore has also been released as advance to the states.

To combat the LWE menace, the government of India has formulated National Policy and Action Plan in 2015, which consists of a multi-pronged approach comprising security measures, development initiatives and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities, the Minister said.

The MHA is supporting the state governments extensively by way of deployment of Central Armed Police Forces Battalions, provision of helicopters and UAVs and sanction of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) or Special India Reserve Battalions (SIRBs). Funds are provided under Modernization of Police Force (MPF), Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) for modernization and training of State Police.

Apart from flagship infrastructure schemes of the Central Government, several development initiatives have been implemented for construction of roads, installation of mobile towers, skill development, improving network of banks and post offices, health and education facilities. Funds for development are also provided to most LWE affected districts under Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme.

Resolute implementation of National Policy and Action Plan has resulted in a consistent decline in the LWE violence and its geographical spread.