Progress of PMGSY not satisfactory: Ramesh

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the government will accelerate pace of the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojan.

New Delhi: Admitting that progress of Pradhan
Mantri Gram Sadak Yojan (PMGSY) is not "satisfactory," Rural
Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday informed Parliament
that the government will accelerate pace of implementation of
the programme.

Under the PMGSY, which was launched in 2000, the
government aims to provide road connectivity to 1,36,500
habitations with a population of 500 in the plain areas and
250 in desert and hill areas.

"The problem in PMGSY is that although the programme was
launched in 2000, substantial funding was forthcoming only in
the last 4-5 years. This year, it is Rs 20,000 crore (budget
allocated). ...This is not a satisfactory state of affairs,"
Ramesh told Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.
He said the government has been able to cover only about
60 per cent of the 1,36,500 eligible habitations.

"There are a large number of habitations remaining to be
connected in Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar
Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. We are trying to accelerate the
pace of implementation of the PMGSY," Ramesh noted.

Asked whether the government has set any time-frame to
achieve the target, he said, "Based on the 2001 census, we
will cover the connectivity targets only by 2017...We are
trying to find the additional resources...I am hoping it
(completing target) by 2014."
Replying to a supplementary on whether there is any agency
to oversee the quality of roads, Ramesh said, "It is wrong to
say that roads have been built and now they do not exist. The
maintenance of the roads, which are built, is the
responsibility of the state governments."

He said the Centre cannot take upon itself the primary
responsibility of maintaining rural roads, let alone state
roads and national highways.


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