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Centre willing to support steps taken by state governments

New Delhi, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 17 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said that the Central Government is willing to support steps taken by the State Governments in the fight against the Naxals.

In his concluding remarks at the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security here on Monday, Chidambaram said: "If you will accept responsibility for border management, we can step back; if you will accept greater responsibility for fighting the Naxals in the Naxal affected districts, we are willing to step back. So every responsibility that the state government will take, we are willing to step back but, in the meanwhile, until capacity is built, we have to work together."

"We have to provide money; we have to provide the men and the women; we have to provide the equipment; and we have to provide the co-ordination. That is what we are doing, but I am confident, we are bound by the Constitution; we are bound by the promises that we had made to our people; we are obliged to work together and if we work together, we can make this country safe and secure," he added.

Speaking of the requirements of the States, Chidambaram said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) can only distribute money that is available with it.

"The money that is available to us now under MPF is Rs.900 crore; under SIS, 155 crore; under SRE, 789 crore. So altogether we have about 1800 crore for distribution to the States. If more money is made available in the Supplementary Budget, certainly that will also be distributed. In addition, we have Rs.2340 crore for the 78 Left Wing Extremist affected districts @ of Rs.30 crore per district that will be distributed to the 78 districts," said Chidambaram.

"The next is about IRBs. In phase-I, all IRBs but one have been raised. In 2011-12, we were able to approve only 13 IRBs and many of them are special IRBs. We have requests pending for 51 IRBs and as soon as funds are made available in the 12th Plan period for IRBs, we will address the issue and we will try to allocate more IRBs to the States," he added.

Stating that as far as connectivity is concerned, Chidambaram said : "We have today, under RRP-I, the following length of roads that have been completed: Andhra Pradesh, 264 Kms; Bihar, 281 kms; Chhattisgarh, 158 Kms; Jharkhand, 8 Kms; Madhya Pradesh, 35 Kms; Maharashtra, 171 Kms; Odisha, 69 Kms; and Uttar Pradesh, 16 Kms. 8 States are included. The total length is 5477 Kms, out of which, as I said, we have completed 1002 Kms."

"As far as mobile connectivity is concerned, we have identified 2198 locations in 9 most-affected States, to erect mobile towers. We have erected 301 towers. Since private service providers are very reluctant to erect these towers, I persuaded my colleague the Minister for Information, Technology and Communications to nominate BSNL to erect these towers. The Minister has accepted my suggestion and he has agreed to use USO funds to erect these towers. A Cabinet note is being submitted and once we have approval, BSNL will erect these towers on nomination basis," he added.

Chidambaram said the Centre has given five helicopters to Chhattisgarh, two to Jharkhand, one under SRE to Odisha and one to Maharashtra

"As far as helicopters are concerned, we have given 5 helicopters to Chhattisgarh, 2 to Jharkhand, 1 under SRE to Odisha, 1 to Maharashtra (they are using their own funds and we are reimbursing them). Two more MI-17 helicopters will be inducted soon in Jharkhand after the infrastructure is created by State Government. For other States, we have said, you can hire the helicopter and we will reimburse the expenses," he said.

Chidambaram further said on recruitment in tribal districts the government has issued orders relaxing height and chest measurements for candidates hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

"We have also issued orders asking the Staff Selection Commission, which is holding the examinations, that candidates from Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura should be allowed to write the exam in Mizo, Manipuri and Bengali languages respectively. Any further requests that will help us recruit more tribals or more candidates from tribal districts will be considered sympathetically," he added.

Talking about the procurement of weapons, Chidambaram said: " I have made an offer that while we will procure weapons for the Central Armed Police Forces, any State is welcome to piggyback on that purchase. In fact, we have ordered glock pistols for the States, we have ordered MP 5 carbine for the States and if any other State wishes to piggyback on what we are procuring, it is welcome to do so." (ANI)


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