Daily News Analysis

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

18th November, 2021 Economy

Figure 2: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Context:

  • Recently, Cabinet has approved the continuation of the phases 1 and 2 of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, till September 2022 for completion of the roads and bridge works that are yet to be finished under the first two phases.

PMGSY - Phase I

  • PMGSY - Phase I was launched in December, 2000 as a 100 % centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Under the scheme, 1,35,436 habitations were targeted for providing road connectivity and 3.68 lakh km. for upgradation of existing rural roads in order to ensure full farm to market connectivity.

 

PMGSY - Phase II

  • The Government of India subsequently launched PMGSY-II in 2013 for upgradation of 50,000 Kms of existing rural road network to improve its overall efficiency.
  • While the ongoing PMGSY - I continued, under PMGSY phase II, the roads already built for village connectivity was to be upgraded to enhance rural infrastructure.
  • The cost was shared between the centre and the states/UTs.

 

Eligibility for the Scheme:

  • Rural areas with a population of 500 and above in plain areas; and hill states including NE, desert states, tribal areas and other backward areas with a population of 250 and above.
  • Apart from building new roads, the scheme also has provisions for the upgrade of existing roads in these areas, although the primary focus is to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations.
  • The scheme does not cover repairs to black-topped or cement roads, even if the surface condition is bad.

 

Monitoring:

  • The roads developed under this scheme are maintained by the Panchayati Raj institutions.

 

Significance of the Scheme:

  • It is a key component of rural development by enhancing access to social and economic services thereby increasing farm incomes and employment opportunities to people. Secondly, it is a key ingredient in poverty alleviation.
  • The development of roads, apart from national highways, is the responsibility of the state governments. Because of inadequate funds and diverted focus of planners, rural roads hardly received any attention. This scheme seeks to fill this gap and take the fruits of development to remote corners of the country.
  • Increased connectivity will help the rural population avail opportunities of employment, health, education and various other social welfare schemes provided by the government. Good, dependable roads translate to easier and faster connectivity from farm to market, timely movement of perishable products from village to market centres, and provide an incentive to industry to move to the hinterland among many other such benefits. 
  • Connectivity also encourages government functionaries such as health workers, teachers, and agriculture extension workers to willingly move to the villages to offer their services. This ultimately contributes to prosperity, and allows economies of scale and sustainable employment.

 

Challenges:

  • Lack of dedicated funds.
  • Limited involvement of the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  • Inadequate execution and contracting capacity.
  • Less working season and difficult terrain particularly in Hill States.
  • Scarcity of the construction materials.
  • Security concerns particularly in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas.

 

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 .
  • 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.