As a part of its multi-pronged strategy to deal with Naxal problem, the Chhattisgarh police have set up a base camp in the rebels’ stronghold of Bijapur district to expedite construction of a road on a national highway that leads to the neighbouring Telangana state.
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The camp was set up on February 8 near Taarud river between Bhadrakali and Tarlaguda, around 500 kms from here, to particularly facilitate the construction of bridge over the river on the under-construction strategically important Bhopalpatnam-Bhadrakali-Tarlaguda road.
“The construction of this road will yield fruitful results in a long-term. The roads can only bring development and administration to the people of interior villages in the Maoists’ affected zone,” Bijapur Superintendent of Police K L Dhruv told PTI.
The 38-km-long patch of the under-construction Bhopalpatnam-Bhadrakali-Tarlaguda road falls on the Jagdalpur-Warangal National Highway.
The patch starts at a distance of around 50 kms from Bijapur town in south Bastar. Inspite of being a part of the NH, it could not be constructed due to Maoist violence as they don’t allow any development activities to take place, the SP said.
The road is not accessible during monsoon as it totally collapses in rains and could only be used during summer, that too after repair work is done, he said.
On October 25, 2015, atleast 37 vehicles and machines engaged in the construction of this road were set ablaze by ultras at three different locations.
Besides, 15 vehicles and machines engaged in road construction were set on fire by Naxals between Tarlaguda and Annaram last month, he said. The Maoists spread propaganda that construction of roads would affect the tribal culture and distort their lifestyle. But, actually they fear that it will speed up the movement of security forces and development works in Bastar thereby uprooting them from the region, he said.
“To ensure safety to the construction work and people engaged in it, we decided to set up police camps on this route. In December last year, a camp was set up at Rampuram village near Chintabagu river while now the second one (has come up) near Chandur village close to Taarud river,” Dhruv said.
“Another police camp is likely to be set up soon on this road,” he further said. “The construction of bridge on Chintabagu river has already been started while it will also start soon on Taarud. The construction of bridges on these two rivers will be a great success for security forces as well people of the region,” the SP said.
Over 50 per cent of the road construction work has been completed and the contractors have assured that in next 6-7 months, it will be fully completed. After its construction, Hyderabad could be reached only in six hours from Bijapur, he said. Notably, the Chhattisgarh government has decided to lay 5,376 km of roads in a time-bound manner by March 2018 in the state, particularly in the Naxal-affected areas.