The State Government has set a target to construct 3,000 km
of rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) during the current financial year when the
demand is three times more.
“At the current pace, it will take more than 15 years or three plan periods to provide all-weather connectivity to all habitations of the State,” official sources said.
According to a survey of the Rural Development Department, about 48,000 km out of 72,000 km rural roads are required to be improved to provide better connectivity to almost all the villages including habitations having a minimum population of 250.
“The State Government needs to revise its target for developing more than 9,000 km of roads under PMGSY each year so that all the habitations can be connected by the end of the 12th plan period (2016-17),” the sources said.
Since the launch of the massive rural infrastructure development programme in 2000-01, the State has so far provided road connectivity to about 7,422 out of 11,521 habitations by developing about 23,906 km by July-end.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) sanctioned 823 road projects valued at ` 1,498 crore in September.
The new road projects sanctioned for 18 districts - seven under integrated action plan (IAP) and 11 non-IAP - are estimated to cost
` 1,498 crore.
The department had submitted a proposal for construction and improvement of 5,250 km of rural roads with an estimated expenditure of ` 2,664 crore during 2012-13, sources in the department said.
In 2011-12 financial year, 3,167-km new roads were completed and ` 1,235.78 crore utilised. It provided connectivity to 720 habitations.
MoRD has so far sanctioned ` 14,239 crore under PMGSY for 10,007 road projects for development of nearly 40,000 km stretch. While the Centre has released ` 9,630 crore, the State has utilised ` 8,870 crore till the end of July.
Road projects in the Maoist-affected Malkangiri district could not be taken up due to lack of response from contractors.
There are no takers for 156 road projects despite repeated floating of tenders, the sources said.