BHUBANESWAR: After reducing the deadline for completion of rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) by three years from 2022 to 2019, the Centre has set a challenging target for the State.
As 12,443 habitations of Odisha are yet to have all-weather road connectivity, the State Government has been given a target to construct 6200 km of road connecting to 2050 habitations under the flagship rural infrastructure programme in the current financial year. This is nearly double the State's target.
While making provision of Rs 2,300 crore in the annual budget for 2016-17, the State Government has planned to construct 3200 kms of roads.
In a bid to accelerate momentum of road construction, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has decided to provide financial incentives to those States which will perform exceptionally well.
"While specific parameters for determining the eligibility of States for financial incentives will be communicated shortly, the actual disbursement of incentives will be done in January, 2017 (based on performance till December, 2016)," said Director (Projects), National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA) Mahesh Hiremath in a letter to the State Government.
The assessment of the State's performance against this annual physical target would be the main agenda in all future regional review meetings, he said.
The Ministry has made an enhanced allocation of Rs 1,650 crore under PMGSY for the current financial year as against Rs 1,430 crore provided in the last fiscal.
Taking the State's contribution of Rs 1100 crore, the total provision for the rural road project in the current fiscal is Rs 2,750 crore.
While fixing the State specific target, in terms of length of road to be constructed and the number of habitation to be connected, the NRRDA has done an elaborate exercise for connecting unconnected habitations within the prescribed time limit.
As per the progress report of the State, 2,974 of 11,936 works sanctioned by MoRD were not completed by end of February, 2016. Of the sanctioned projects, 1,057 works have remained incomplete even after four years. The Centre had warned that spill-over financial liability of sanctioned projects beyond March 31, 2016 will have to be borne by the State.