BHUBANESWAR: THE State Government has decided to spend over Rs 475 crore for maintenance of rural roads during the current financial year to facilitate accessibility to backward and interior areas of Odisha.
A rural road maintenance policy has also been formulated by the State Government for regular repair and maintenance of roads, primarily constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The policy, which was approved by the State Cabinet recently, has also been appreciated by the Centre.
The funds available for maintenance of rural roads during the current financial year include allocation of Rs 300 crore made by the State Government. The Rural Development Department has received an incentive of Rs 175.67 crore from the Centre basing on its performance with respect to PMGSY work during 2016-17.
Official sources said PMGSY roads, which have completed five years, will be eligible for maintenance during the current financial year. Technical audit will be conducted by independent team of engineers or through consulting firms to ensure effective maintenance of roads. This will be done on sample basis by the departments under which the roads fall.
The report will be examined by department concerned of the State Government and action for remedial measures or improvement will be taken accordingly. The maintenance work will be executed by the department concerned following established procedures as defined in the OPWD code.
The annual maintenance plan will be made at the beginning of each financial year by the respective administrative departments consisting of the details about works to be carried out in the year for proper utilisation of the available funds.
Besides, the administrative departments will assess the requirement of funds basing on the norms decided by the Empowered Committee and propose the same to the Finance Department every year during preparation of annual budget for necessary provision.
Sources said the administrative department will prioritise rural road maintenance within the budget allocation. Maintenance will also be taken up through convergence of budgetary and extra budgetary resources.