New Delhi: In a view for integrated development of 1000 villages, the Central government under the Prime Minister's Model Village Scheme released Rs 200 crore to the state governments.

Union Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik said, “In order to ensure all-round development, villages with 50 per cent Dalit population have been included in the Prime Minister's Model Village Scheme to ensure their all-round development.”

225 villages each from states like Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu and 100 villages of Assam have been included under the pilot project, informed the Minister in response to a question.

He said that keeping in mind the request made by state governments which aim for the integrated development of such villages, the Centre had decided to provide them financial aid.

Earlier, the state governments were asked to make a development plan for such villages by conducting a survey.

Earlier in November, Rajasthan Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Ashok Bairwa had requested the Centre to include all villages with 50 per cent population of Dalits in the Prime Minister's Model Village Scheme to ensure their all-round development. He had also suggested the inclusion of backward areas of the state's Dang region in the scheme.

JPN/Bureau