KOLKATA: A team of officials will be visiting the Lalgarh area of West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district on Tuesday as part of the State government’s plans to expedite development work in the region. Joint security operations by paramilitary forces and the State police are under way in the region to flush out Maoists and activists of the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee.
The State government has been planning for greater development of the region that has been severely affected by months of strife in the wake of left-wing extremism. The joint operations by security forces against the Maoists had begun on June 18.
The delegation will visit the area and discuss with the authorities how to take the development process forward and restore the confidence of the people in the local administration, Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said here on Monday. Officials had earlier visited Lalgarh and held talks with district authorities on development initiatives that included rural electrification, digging of tube-wells and improving of health care facilities.
The delegation will, among other things, take stock of the progress made on these initiatives, it is learnt. The government is trying to put in place development plans not just for the Lalgarh area but the entire tribal belt in the south-west region spanning parts of adjoining Bankura and Purulia districts.
Mr. Chakraborty, accompanied by Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen and the Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh will be visiting the area on October 27 to discuss administrative and security issues with officials.
They will review the progress of the operations against the Maoists, some of whom continue to be in hide-outs in the forest even though areas in Lalgarh that had remained out of bounds to the police and the civil authorities since November 2008 had been reclaimed by the security forces. The future of the security operations were discussed by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at meetings with the Prime Minister and the Home Minister in New Delhi earlier this month.
THE HINDU, KOLKATA, October 19, 2009