BHUBANESWAR: The State government is running behind the schedule of completing construction of 2,700 km for 2021-22. It has managed to construct only 272.75 km of rural roads under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
Recognised as a best performing State in construction of rural roads, Odisha has completed construction of 62,465 km by providing all-weather connectivity to 16,301 out of 16,382 feasible habitations. However, with Covid-19 pandemic playing spoilsport, the extended rainy season made the task impossible. Short supply of raw materials like metal chips and morrum is the other reason for the slow progress of the works, said a senior officer of the Rural Development department.
Road construction under PMGSY for the current fiscal has remained a non-starter in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Nabarangpur and Sonepur district while the progress is abysmally low in many others. There has been noticeable progress in tribal dominated districts of Koraput (60.71 km), Malkangiri (44.26 km), Kandhamal (20 km) and Bargarh (40 km).
The State government has provided connectivity to 146 habitations out of the 326 targeted for the current fiscal. With an unspent balance of Rs 1,116 crore as of April 1, 2021, the Centre has made a budgetary provision of Rs 666.67 crore for the current financial year out of which the State’s share is Rs 266.67 crore. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Rural Development has intimated the State government about dropping of seven roads, five in Cuttack district and two in Kalahandi, from the list of sanctioned projects.
Work contract of these projects, sanctioned in 2017-18, have not been awarded by the State Rural Road Development Agency (SRRDA) despite repeated time extensions by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). In a recent communication to all states, the MoRD had said the road projects under PMGSY-I and II sanctioned prior to April 1, 2020 and remain pending for award and agreement details are not uploaded on the official website of the Ministry by October 15, 2021 will be dropped unilaterally. While the total value of the sanctioned projects for Odisha was Rs 32,000 crore, the State has utilised Rs 27,668 crore.
Road construction is yet to start in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Nabarangpur and Sonepur
The State government has provided connectivity to 146 habitations out of the 326 targeted for the current fiscal
Seven roads, five in Cuttack and two in Kalahandi have been dropped from the list of sanctioned projects