New Delhi: The Central Government on Tuesday said that it is carrying out a road construction project worth Rs 7,300 crore in the Naxal-hit states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in order to address the connectivity problem in the red-insurgency hit regions of these states.

Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said in the Lok Sabha that the first stage of the project is under way at present. Construction of 5,477 km of road stretches across 34 districts is to be completed in the first stage.

He further added in the house that the priority of the regions where the roads are to be constructed has been decided after prior discussions with the state governments, state police chiefs and the security forces deployed in these states.

Elaborating upon future plans of the road construction project, the minister in a written reply said, “In the second stage, the construction of 8,014 km road will be carried out. The total expense on the project in the second stage will be Rs 10,700 crore.”

While replying to another question in the Lok Sabha, Singh admitted that the government has begun using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Naxal-affected areas across the country. However, he said, "It is too early to make an assessment on the effectiveness of the UAVs deployed in these areas.