Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged Maoists to return to mainstream as violence has no place in democracy. Patnaik said this at a public rally held in the Maoist-hit Malkangiri district. “I call upon the Left-wing extremists with open mind to quit the path of violence and become part of the ongoing public welfare activities in the state,” he said. “There is no place of violence in the democratic set up,” he said, adding his government is committed to make the tribal-dominated Malkangiri into a model district.
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The chief minister said the much desired bridge over Gurupriya river would be completed by June, 2017 and it would provide road communication to at least 151 villages in the cut-off area of Malkangiri district. The cut-off area in the district is considered to be a stronghold of the Maoists.
Stating that the bridge was a milestone of road communication for the entire KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region, Patnaik said the state government has decided to make eight more Mega Lift Irrigation projects operational in Malkangiri. Four such projects have so far been set up in Malkangiri,where about 37,000 hectares of land would be irrigated, he said. The chief minister said the government is also working towards spreading rail network in Malkangiri district.
“The state government will provide land free of cost for rail projects and also bear a portion of the project cost,” he said. The work for two 220/33 KV grid stations were on and work in the Malkangiri zone has been completed while the other at Kalimela would be over soon, he said. Steps were being taken to set up two major bridges over rivers Saberi and Saptadhara, Patnaik said. The state government’s development plan of action in Malkangiri aimed to discourage Maoist activities in the district, officials said.