New Delhi:  In order to curb the rising menace of Naxalities, the Central government has now decided to lay thrust on rural development projects.

To fight the Naxal insurgency in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of Rural Development is planning to gear up the development projects running in Naxal-affected villages.

Taking initiative in this direction, the Ministry will hold a meeting with the district magistrates of the Naxal-affected regions on September 13 in New Delhi.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh informed that DMs from 15 districts of Odisha, 14 districts of Jharkhand, 10 from Chhattisgarh, eight from Madhya Pradesh , Seven from Bihar, two each from Maharashtra, Andhra Pardesh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will discuss the strategies to maintain law and order  as well as development work in the Naxal-affected states.

“The activity of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) which was earlier confined to 60 districts has now expanded to 78 districts. It includes six districts of Andhra Pradesh, two districts of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and three districts of Jharkhand and Odisha,” Ramesh said.

Stepping up its effort to tackle the situation, government plans to strengthen the security system along with immediate implementation of development projects at the earliest. In view of this, relaxation in the parameters for central schemes is expected.

A joint draft has been jointly prepared by Rural development, Panchayati Raj and Roadways & Transport ministries for effective functioning of several schemes.