New Delhi: The government is set to launch a new scheme to provide 80,000 commercial passenger vehicles in rural areas at a subsidised cost to revitalise the transport system in 1.5 lakh villages.
"Even today, people in rural and remote areas of the country are forced to walk few miles, as there is hardly any mode of transport available there. Therefore to provide transport facilities in these areas the Rural Development Ministry is working on a new Pradhan Mantri Gram Parivahan Yojana," a source said.
This proposed scheme will be on the lines of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and will supplement the later, the source said.
"The construction on rural roads is going on at a decent pace and substantial amount of work has been done to connect the remote habitations in the country.
"So now roads are in place, but public transport is missing. That's why the government is considering to provide 10-12 seater passenger vehicles at subsidised rates to retired defence personnel and women self-help groups for running on these roads," the source said.
To study the feasibility of the scheme, a survey was carried out in rural areas of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh. As per its findings, it would be remunerative to provide 10-12 seater commercial vehicles at subsidised rates on the stretch of 20-22 km which connects at least 10-14 small villages, the source added.
In 2015-16 financial year (April-March), the rural development ministry had constructed 36,000 km of road in rural areas, and has fixed a target of 48,000 km for the current fiscal.
As of now the ministry is constructing roads in rural areas at rate of 80 km per day, but in coming days it will be increased to 133 km per day, the source said.
According to 2011 census, about 33 per cent people still walk and do not use motorised transport to travel and majority of the remaining either use two-wheelers or unsafe mode of transport.