Chhattisgarh: Construction of Bastar's 'Khooni road' still a challenge

| Updated: Jun 14, 2017 11:46 IST

Bastar (Chhattisgarh) [India], June 14 (ANI): The Chhattisgarh government continues to face the challenge of constructing the 56-km long stretch of road here in the Naxal infested area, owing to the surge in the number of attacks that have resulted in the killing of several CRPF officials in the region. The new stretch, referred to as 'Khooni road' spans from Doranpal to Jagargunda in Sukma district. So far, the same stretch has witnessed over 20 blasts since its inception, while over 50 CRPF bravehearts have lost their lives fighting the Naxals who have been relentlessly opposing the construction activity. The government's Public Works Department (PWD) has issued over 20 tenders for this stretch. However, due to the fear of Naxal operations, the officials are facing the challenge of finding contractors that can be deployed in the area to get the job done. In 2014, the onus of building this road was given to the Police Housing Department, who facilitated the construction. Since then, IED blasts and soldiers being gunned down became a common occurrence, the most recent one in the string of attacks being the one in Sukma that resulted in the martyrdom of over 25 CRPF jawans. As a result of this, the construction of the road had come to a halt. One of the main reasons cited by Chief Minister Raman Singh is the prospect of development in the area. With the construction of the new network of roads, over 150 villages that had poor connectivity will be accessible through these, thus benefitting the 20,000 odd natives of these villages. Additionally, this area being the core den of Naxal operations in the state, the development of roads here will force the Naxals to retreat, thereby reducing the volume of attacks currently taking place. According to the police, the construction is to take place in two parts. Firstly, the Dornanpal to Jagargunda stretch will be constructed, followed by the 13-km stretch between Injamam and Bheji. In order to avoid any leeway for further Naxal attacks and to counter the Naxal movement in the area, the police personnel are conducting thorough inspection of all vehicles passing by through the region and closely monitoring the situation. (ANI)

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