Maoists Disrupt Construction of 350 Road Projects in Chhattisgarh
Posted by Ka Frank on February 4, 2010
This article appeared on Vamban.
Maoists Hold up Road Construction in Chhattisgarh
Raipur, Oct 19 – Maoist guerrillas have held up construction work at more than 350 road sites in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, an official said Monday. ‘At least 350 road construction projects under Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Scheme were held up in Maoist violence-hit Bastar region, mainly in Dantewada, Bijapur and Kanker districts. It is difficult to continue the work due to violence,’ an official in panchayat and rural development department told IANS. The projects amounted to Rs.1,000 crore (Rs.10 billion).
The contractors had told district police authorities that they were finding it difficult to carry on construction work due to Maoist intervention. According to police, Maoist guerrillas had set ablaze at least 65 vehicles this year alone in Bastar that were engaged in road construction projects. Several officials and workers who were carrying out construction work were abducted by the rebels and set free only after they guaranteed not to return to work.
Experts say Maoist guerrillas are holding up rural road construction projects as they do not want the infrastructure be built up in the interiors as it will give easy access to police and paramilitary forces to the forested areas. Chhattisgarh has witnessed a string of deadly attacks in recent years, majority of them in Bastar. Police say about 1,500 people were killed in the state since 2004 in Maoist violence of which 90 percent casualties were reported from Bastar, spread out over 40,000 sq km.