New Delhi: Highlighting the socio-economic aspect of the Left wing extremism in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has suggested the district collectors of Maoist-affected areas to expedite the implementation of development projects in their jurisdiction to battle the menace of red terror.

Addressing a national workshop attended by 60 collectors of Maoist affected districts in the national capital, the PM advised the collectors to identify problems at the grassroot and look at practical solutions for development of naxalism-affected areas. He also urged them to apply “zero tolerance” policy against corruption.

He emphasised that there is a need for winning the “trust of people” in these areas which can help in tackling the problem.

“Looking at the ground realties, we have to bring in change in the development plans with existing limited resources,” the PM said.

There was demand of Rs 35 crore to complete the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in 60 Left Wing Extremism affected districts of the country.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was present at the meeting, said that under Indira Awaas Yojna, the victims of Naxalism would be provided with Indira Awaas.

In a daylong workshop, the collectors pointed out ‘communication’ as one of the major problems faced in naxal-hit areas which included the absence of roads, telecommunication, post-offices and banks.

The collectors also highlighted that schools, panchayat, anganbadi centers, BSNL towers etc are targeted by naxalites. Therefore, it is important to have a look at the security situation in these areas along with development plans.