Come the Republic Day and Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will unfurl tri -colour in Saranda,Asia’s largest Sal forest in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.
The forest,criss crossing the boundaries of Orissa and West Bengal,has been infested with the Naxalites belonging to the dreaded outfit-CPI(Maoist)- for long.After the operation against them began in 2011,Ramesh has been shuttling between New Delhi and Saranda frequently.
Under his initiative,the Saranda Action Plan envisaging to provide basic facilities such as bi-cycles,solar lights,check dams,Indira Awas,roads and so on were provided to many tribals there.The security forces had established their camps. with the result that there was no major incident of violence there for quite some time.
In the past,the scene was such that no official dared to enter into the forest.Early last year,the security forces had unfurled the national flag there.
Today,on the last day of his three- day tour to Ranchi,Latehar and Daltongunj,Ramesh announced that he will unfurl the tri- colour inside Saranda on January 26.
Talking to reporters,Ramesh said that the Maoist violence had declined in Jharkhand in comparison to Malkangiri in Orissa and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra in 2012.
Ramesh sounded concern over seven pending road proposals under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yozana in the Maoist infested Latehar district mainly due to the Forest department which had not given its clearance.He pointed out that he had talked to senior forest officials.”They have assured me that clearance would be provided very soon”,said Ramesh.