Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched in the year 2000 and has the objective of providing all-weather connectivity to all unconnected habitations with population of 500 persons and above 250 persons and above in hilly states, desert areas (as identified under DDP), Tribal Schedule-V areas and 82 selected tribal and backward districts as identified under Integrated Action Plan in rural areas of the country.
According to latest figures made available by the State Governments under a survey to identify Core Network as part of the PMGSY programme, about 1.67 lakh Unconnected Habitations are eligible for coverage under the programme. This involves construction of about 3.71 lakh km. of roads for New Connectivity and 3.68 lakh km. under upgradation.
Grameen Sadak Yojana enhances movement between villages and towns. Thus increases the pace of rural development as follows:
• New business opportunities will emerge due to better transport. • Transportation cost of agricultural goods will get reduce. • This will increase connectivity to schools and hospitals. • This will provide employment to poor and unemployed people. • This will increase penetration of government assistance in inaccessible areas too. • This will enhance the better implementation of government schemes.
Farmers now find it easier to take their produce to market in time, school enrollment is on the rise, and families’ access to health care has improved. The Rural Roads Project has also brought about a paradigm shift in the way rural roads are mapped, designed, monitored, and built.
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to for the upgradation of the scheme. The new norms include:
A. Revision of the Core Network by including:
I. 2,687 left-out unconnected habitations (as per the 2001 census) in Tribal (Schedule-V) areas (other than 82 Integrated Action Plan (lAP) districts already included) and blocks adjoining the international border under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP). It was also approved to provide new connectivity to these habitations and allowing upgradation of certain roads measuring about 2,000 km in these areas at an estimated cost of Rs.1,000 crore (at 2012-13 prices), based on a road condition survey which will determine an upgradation priority list; II. 1,410 left out unconnected habitations with population of 250 persons and above (as per the 2001 census) in the 10 Hill States and desert areas (as identified under the Desert Development Programme (DDP)) to provide new connectivity to these habitations; III. 9,112 left out unconnected habitations with population of 500 persons and above (as per the 2001 census) in plain areas to provide new connectivity to these habitations, at an estimated cost of Rs.13,850 crore (at 2012-13 prices).
B. Extension of the cluster approach from international border blocks to international border districts of the State of Arunachal Pradesh, by clubbing the population within a path distance of 10 km, and treating as a cluster for eligibility and to provide new connectivity to 126 habitations at an estimated cost of Rs.1,200 crore (at 2012-13 prices)
C. ‘In principle’ approval for covering unconnected habitations with population of 100 persons and above (as per the 2001 census) in the Left Wing Extremists affected blocks (identified in consultations with the Ministry of Home Affairs) with a limited provision to complete missing links, to form closed loops from through routes of the core network at an estimated cost of Rs. 8,000 crore (at 2012-13 prices).
The net number of total eligible unconnected habitations are 1,64,849. This is likely to increase to 1,78,184 habitations on account of this relaxation.