Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Leads To Creation Of More Than 7 Lakh KM Of Roads Since Inception

by Harsha Bhat - Mar 18, 2022 10:28 AM +05:30 IST
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Leads To Creation Of More Than 7 Lakh KM Of Roads Since InceptionPMGSY
  • The PMGSY was launched on 25 December 2000 under the Prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee with the objective of providing rural connectivity.

The construction of all weather roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) providing connectivity to rural habitations has covered a length of over 7.8 lakh kms across the country since inception.

Responding in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday (15 March), Union Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, in a written response, said that 99 per cent of targeted habitations have been provided all-weather road connectivity as on 10 March 2021.

The PMGSY was launched on 25 December 2000 under the Prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee with the objective of providing rural connectivity.

It initially aimed at enabling all-weather access to eligible unconnected habitations with population upto 500 (Census 2001) in plain areas, 250 and above in special category states such as the North Eastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Desert areas and 88 selected Backward districts.

As per Jyoti’s response, since inception, till 10 March 2022, in 250+ population category, 1,57,377 habitations have been sanctioned and 1,55,719 habitations have been provided connectivity in various states/union territories.

Under 100-249 population category in LWE(Left-Wing Extremism affected) areas, 6,260 habitations have been sanctioned and 5,856 habitations have been provided connectivity. Thus, 99 per cent of targeted habitations have been provided all-weather road connectivity as on 10 March 2021.

A total of 6,45,605 Km road length has been sanctioned under new connectivity and upgradation components under PMGSY-I, out of which 6,13,030 Km road length has been completed since inception till 10 March 2022.

Given the need for consolidation of the existing Rural Road Network to improve its efficiency as a provider of transportation services as well as a vehicle of social and economic development, PMGSY -II was launched in 2013.

This aimed for upgradation of selected Through Routes and Major Rural Links (MRLs) with a target to upgrade 50,000 Km in various States and Union Territories. And under this, a total of 49,885 km road length has been sanctioned and 46,468 km road length been completed upto 10 March.

A separate vertical for provision of connectivity in areas affected by LWE was launched in 2016. This Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) has sanctioned 10,231 km road length and completed 5,310 km road length upto 10 March 2022.

In the year 2019, Government launched PMGSY-III for consolidation of 1,25,000 Km Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations, inter-alia, to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals. This has led to completion of 29,773 km of roads and a sanction of 77,129 km under PMGSY - III.

The parliament question response also detailed the challenges to the implementation of the scheme that included issues of land acquisition, forest clearance, poor contracting capacity of states, lack of response to tenders, law and order issues, financial capability of states to release funds, execution capacity of states/ SRRDAs came in the way which impacted the overall progress of the scheme in general.

For North-Eastern and hill states, some additional issues like adverse climatic conditions, tough terrain, short working season etc. also came in the way which compounded the challenges, says the response.

On the request of various states/ UTs, especially North-Eastern and Hill states, the timeline for completion PMGSY-I & II has been extended till September 2022 and for RCPLWEA the timeline has been extended till March 2023. Timeline for completion of PMGSY-III is till March, 2025.

Although allocation and release of funds to the states for execution of works sanctioned under PMGSY has been made by the Ministry on time, some delays are said to be taking place owing to the ‘weak finances of some state’, due to which transfer of funds from state treasury to the account of State Rural Roads Development Agencies (SRRDAs) gets delayed. This is seen affecting the overall progress of the scheme in only a few states, while most of the states' SRRDAs have had sufficient funds available with them.

As per the data provided in the response, the expenditure has been on increasing trend during the last two years and current year, even as the country faced the global pandemic and the resultant economic slowdown.

The expenditure in 2019-20 was Rs 21723.92 crore, in 2020-21 was the highest expenditure since inception at Rs 23935.01 crore, and in 2021-22, it has been at Rs 24239.66 crore as on 9 March 2022.

Mechanism For Assessing Quality Of Roads Built

As per the response given in the Lok Sabha, the quality of constructions of works sanctioned under PMGSY is being monitored through inspections by National Quality Monitors (NQMs).

As per the release, the mechanism is as follows: There is a three-tiered Quality Control mechanism for ensuring construction of quality road works and durability of road assets under PMGSY.

Under the first tier, the Programme Implementation Units (PIUs) are required to ensure process control through mandatory tests on material and workmanship at field laboratory.

The second tier is a structured independent quality monitoring at the State level through State Quality Monitors (SQMs) to ensure that every work is inspected at initial stage, middle stage and final stage of construction.

Under the third tier, independent National Quality Monitors (NQMs) are deployed by National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (NRIDA) for random inspection of road and bridge works to monitor quality and also to provide guidance to the field functionaries.

In the last three years (March 2019-March 2022), 7.23 per cent completed works and 6.18 per cent ongoing works were graded as unsatisfactory by NQMs, whereas during March 2021 – March 2022, the unsatisfactory grading has decreased to 6.38 per cent for completed works and 4.55 per cent for ongoing works. Thus, it can be seen that proportion of unsatisfactory works has decreased significantly.

The quality monitoring mechanism is further being strengthened by adding more NQMs and enhancing the intensity of inspection. In addition, the quality issues are also reviewed in detail with the States in various Regional Review Meetings and Pre-Empowered/ Empowered Committee/ regular review meetings by the Ministry, according to the release.

For empanellment and engagement of consultants for preparation of DPRs under PMGSY, the detailed guidelines have been circulated by National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (NRIDA), a technical arm of the Ministry on 04 December 2012 to all states.

The consultants for preparation of DPRs are empaneled by the States implementing PMGSY.

The programme is monitored at regular intervals by way of Regional Review Meetings (RRMs), Performance Review Committee (PRC) Meetings and Pre-Empowered/ Empowered Committee Meetings with the States.

In addition to this, special review meetings/ monthly review meetings have been also held, as reported, at the level of Secretary/ Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development with Chief Secretaries/Additional Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries/ Chief Executive Officer-SRRDAs of the States.

Reviews are also held by the Minister with counterpart State Ministers for expediting decision making and quality control of the construction. Necessary hand-holding of the state in this regard were done wherever required by means of Inter-departmental meetings etc.

Further, implementation of all sanctioned works is also monitored through Online Management, Monitoring and Accounting System (OMMAS) on a real time basis to ensure that the physical and financial progress are in sync with the overall targets given to states.

PMGSY In The Last Six Years

As reported by the Indian Express last month (February), three lakh kilometres of roads have been constructed under PMGSY in the last six years. This is almost double the length of roads built between 2009 and 2014, which stood at 1.88 lakh km.

“The pace of construction of rural roads under PMGSY has seen massive growth during the last seven years and emphasis has been given to new technology resulting in a saving of about Rs 5,000 crore,” said a statement by the Ministry of Rural Development, as reported.

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