BHUBANESWAR: The Centre on Friday clarified that there will be no change in norms for sanctioning road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to provide all-weather connectivity to habitations in both Integrated Action Plan (IAP) and non-IAP districts in Odisha.
As per the PMGSY norms, habitations with a population of 500 plus (as per 2001 census) in plain areas and 250 plus in tribal areas have been sanctioned road in the State, it was demanded to relax the norms to cover habitations having a population of over 100 in 18 IAP districts and over 250 in 12 non-IAP districts.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar said there is no proposal under consideration of the Ministry for relaxing the norms. “Additional relaxation has been given to connect habitations with population of 100 and above in the critical Left Wing Extremism affected blocks identified by Ministry of Home Affairs. Odisha has already been sanctioned its full entitlement under new connectivity component of PMGSY. No further sanctions are being given for habitation connectivity under the scheme,” he said.
Of 16,488 eligible unconnected habitations with a population size of 250 and above, 16,020 habitations have been provided all-weather road connectivity, while 59 habitations have either been dropped or are not feasible.
In case of habitations having a population of 100 to 249 in most intensive IAP blocks in Odisha, 1,649 habitations out of 1,990 eligible habitations have been provided connectivity. The connected villages included 273 habitations that have been provided connectivity under State scheme.
The Minister in his written reply stated that maintenance of roads constructed under the Central scheme is the responsibility of the State Government and all road works are covered by initial five-year maintenance contracts. “Maintenance funds are provided by the State Government and maintenance of roads beyond five years is also done by the State,” he said.
Odisha has received Rs 358.96 crore as incentive in three years between 2016-17 and 2018-19. While the State got highest Rs 175.67 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 109.61 crore in 2017-18, Rs 73.68 crore was credited in 2018-19. Since 2016-17, financial incentives are given to top performing States, which show higher achievement in the year on the basis of set parameters to be used specifically for periodic maintenance of roads.