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In a significant move to expand digital India programme to Chhattisgarh’s Bastar division, Chief Minister Raman Singh on Monday announced ‘Bastar Net’ project for strengthening mobile as well as internet connectivity across the insurgency-hit region.
“Keeping in view Bastar’s geographical location, a better internet and telecom connectivity is required for the region. Under ‘Bastar Net’ project, optical fibre will be laid to boost the communication system in all seven districts of the division,” Singh said while announcing the scheme during his address at the Independence Day function at the police parade grounds.
The tribal-dominated Bastar division comprises of seven districts–Kanker, Kondagaon, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar, Sukma and Dantewada–spread in an area about 40,000 sq km in southern part of the state.
Under the project, a massive 832-km-long optical fibre cable will be laid at the cost of Rs 40 crore.
The network will be based on ‘ring network’ mechanism so that it may provide uninterrupted mobile and internet connectivity through alternative routes, the CM said.
Calling the project a ‘digital highway’ for Bastar, he said it will act as a catalyst in bringing about a new revolution in development of a knowledge-based society, opportunity and economy, besides enhancing the transparency, accuracy and accountability of government services.
Singh further exuded confidence that the state is heading towards a decisive battle against Naxalism.
“Left wing extremism had hampered the integrated, coordinated and inclusive development of Chhattisgarh but now we have succeeded in exposing such anti-national, anti-democratic and anti-constitutional elements. We are heading towards a conclusive battle to flush out the menace (of Naxalism),” he said.
The coordinated strategy to ensure security and development in the Naxal-affected pockets has been successful.
Recently, the Centre has decided to set up ‘Bastariya Battalion’ of CRPF which will certainly fulfil the dreams of Shaheed Gaind Singh, Veer Gundadhur and Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh (freedom fighters of Chhattisgarh) who had raised voice against suppression and exploitation, Singh said.
“I hope ‘Bastariya Battalion’ will be a symbol of courage and bravery of Bastar youth,” he said.
Youth from Bastar region will be recruited for the battalion which is likely to be set up by 2017.
Singh, speaking about the his government’s target to ensure electricity in all villages of the state by 2018, said ‘Saur Sujala Yojana’ has commenced for the farmers of the areas where it is difficult to get electricity connection.
Under the scheme, 51 solar pumps will be installed in the next three years, he said.
Singh also announced that solar power plant of 100 MW each will soon be established in Rajnandgaon, Raigarh and Janjgir-Champa districts.
Highlighting the success under Clean India Mission, Singh said, 4,311 villages of 2,432 village panchayats have been declared open defecation free (ODF) in the state since the inception of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign.
The CM asserted to make six out of 27 districts in the state ODF by the end of this year.
Under the ambitious ‘Ujjwala Scheme’ launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as many as 25 lakh poor families in the state will be provided domestic LPG connection in next two years at nominal charges of Rs 200, he said.
Similarly, under the skill development programme, over 2.35 lakh youths were provided skill development training and the target is impart training to 4.25 lakh youths in next three years, he said.
The CM also highlighted the achievements of various schemes being run in the state.
Earlier, Chief Minister Singh unfurled the national flag and received guard of honour from the joint parade of state police, Chhattisgarh Armed Police, ITBP, BSF, CISF, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, Scout and Guide students at the Parade Ground here to mark India’s 70th Independence day amid tight security.
About 5,000 people, including hundreds of children, thronged the venue in the city centre to witness the colourful parade with patriotic fervour and gaiety.