Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Government approves launch of third phase of rural road programme


  • To boost connectivity of villages with hospitals, schools and markets, the Centre has recently approved the launch of Phase-3 of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to widen and revamp 1.25-lakh km of roads in the country.

Background

  • PMGSY-III scheme was announced by the Finance Minister in Budget Speech for the year 2018-19.
  • In 2018, CCEA approved continuation of PMGSY-I & II beyond 12th Five Year Plan and covering of balance eligible habitations under PMGSY-I by March 2019, PMGSY-II and habitations under identified LWE blocks (100-249 population) by March 2020.

News Summary:

PMGSY- III:

  • The third phase of PMGSY involves consolidation of 1.25-lakh km of existing rural roads by building new link roads, revamping and widening existing roads.
  • It proposes the construction of bridges up to 150m in the plains and 200m in hilly states, double the current provisions.
  • States will be asked to enter into Memorandum of Understanding before launching PMGSY-III to provide adequate funds for maintenance of roads in the five-year period after construction.
  • States will be asked to ensure roadside plantations along these roads, for which funds from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and other Central and State schemes will be used
  • Plastic waste will also be used during work on these roads.

Road Selection

  • Selection of roads will be based on their importance in parameters including population served, educational and medical facilities

Project period: 2019-20 to 2024-25

Funding

  • Estimated cost: Rs 80,250 crore, which would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and states.
  • In case of eight north-eastern and three Himalayan states (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) the ratio will be 90:10.

Impact

  • This would facilitate easy and faster movement to and from Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
  • Roads constructed under PMGSY would also be maintained properly.

About PMGSY

  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), was launched by the Govt. of India in December 2000.
  • The objective of PMGSY is to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size (500+ in plain areas and 250+ in North-East, hill, tribal and desert areas as per Census, 2001) for overall socio-economic development of the areas.
  • Under the scheme a total of 5,99,090 Km road length has been constructed since inception till April, 2019 inclusive of PMGSY-I, PMGSY-II and Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Area (RCPLWEA) Scheme.
  • 97% of the eligible and feasible habitations have already been connected by all-weather road.

Short comings in PMGSY-I:

  • Under PMGSY-I, out of the targets fixed under new connectivity as well as upgradation over 70% of the projects got sanctioned and a large proportion completed.
  • However the roads, both taken under the PMGSY – I as well as other schemes for rural roads, did not received the desired attention on the maintenance front for a number of reasons, including low contracting capacity, poor maintenance practices, inadequate feeling of ownership of the newly created roads at State level
  • This led to erosion of assets created under various programmes and the sustainability of assets created has not been ensured.

PMGSY-II

  • In the backdrop of shortcomings in PMGSY-I, the need for consolidation of the existing network was felt, to ensure that it fulfills the primary objective of connectivity for the local community and enables economical transportation of goods and for services to provide better livelihood opportunities as a part of poverty reduction strategy.
  • To deal with all these issues, PMGSY-II was launched in 2012-13.
  • Objectives of PMGSY – II:
    • PMGSY–II envisages consolidation of the existing Rural Road Network to improve its overall efficiency as a provider of transportation services for people, goods and services.
    • It aims to cover upgradation of existing selected rural roads based on their economic potential and their role in facilitating the growth of rural market centres and rural hubs .
    • Development of growth centres and rural hubs are critical to the overall strategy of facilitating poverty alleviation through creation of rural infrastructure.
    • Growth centres/rural hubs would provide markets, banking and other service facilities enabling creation of self-employment and livelihood opportunities on an ongoing basis.
  • So far, 13 states have moved to stage II of the programme.
  • As against a target of 50,000 km, 32,024 km has been sanctioned and 17,705 km road length has been upgraded.
  • Other states are likely to move to PMGSY II in FY 2018-19.

Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Area (RCPLWEA)

  • Government launched Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism affected Areas in the year 2016 as a separate vertical under PMGSY.
  • The objective of RCPLWEA is to provide all-weather road connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 districts (35 are worst LWE affected districts and 09 are adjoining districts), which are critical from security and communication point of view.
  • Under the Scheme, 5,066 Km road length has been sanctioned.

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