Vijayan meets Shah, says Centre assured Kerala help to deal with Maoist threat

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi VIjayan met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday and sought Centre's assistance to deal with the Maoist threat plaguing some districts in the state.

The two leaders discussed various subjects, including the modernisation of the state police force to face the threat and the need for more boats for patrolling of coastal areas, the chief minister told reporters during a press conference here.

Vijayan said Shah assured him Centre will provide help to Kerala to eradicate the Maoist threat.

The Centre has agreed to consider including Kannur and Kozhikode, apart from Palakkad, Malappuram and Vayanad districts, as areas facing the Maoist threat, he said.

The chief minister said Shah told him that his request for modernisation of Kerala's police force will considered during a meeting of the all state home ministers on August 26.

Vijayan said he also raised the issue of reconstruction of rural roads by utilising the national disaster fund. He said that he told the home minister that the criteria set by the Central government for reconstruction of the roads was not favourable to Kerala.

The rate set by the Centre of Rs 60,000 per km was not possible in Kerala, he said and urged the Centre to consider the state's requirement to increase the rate to Rs 10 lakh per km.

Apart from Shah, the Kerala chief minister also met Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya.

Vijayan said he discussed with Gadkari the development of national highways in the state and increasing their width to 45 metres.

He said the Centre has accepted the request, after Kerala agreed to foot 25 per cent of the land-acquisition cost.