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Rural Development Minister calls for revamp of PMGSY to build more roads

The Union Minister for Rural Development Shri Birender Singh today said that his Ministry will totally revisit the specifications, Standards and guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana( PMGSY) for reducing cost in construction of rural roads. He said, by rescheduling the entire fixation of PMGSY, a lot of funds could be saved to build more roads in the rural areas and pointed out that 14 percent administrative expenses is too much in the overall budget. He also suggested that States should bear the burden for maintenance of roads as there is a dedicated machinery in each state to undertake such works. It is to be noted that under PMGSY-II, 50,000 kilometres of roads will be upgraded with complete central funding. He was speaking here on the occasion of Good Governance Day, which the Rural Development Ministry has decided to celebrate as PMGSY Divas.

The Minister said, this year 14,000 crore rupees will be spent for providing road connectivity in the rural areas, which will facilitate poverty reduction on a large scale. He also pitched for large scale use of plastic waste in the construction of rural roads and said this will help in Swachh Bharat Mission. He expressed satisfaction that 2/3rd of the habitations in the country have already been covered by PMGSY and also emphasised that all efforts will be made to take the scheme in the remotest nook and corner of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Sudarshan Bhagat said, the scheme was launched 14 years ago by the previous NDA government led by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee on his birthday on 25th December 2000 with great fanfare and it achieved tremendous success in providing connectivity to the rural India. He said, so far more than One Lakh three thousand villages had been connected by this scheme and rural roads measuring more than 4 Lakh 16 thousand kilometres had been built. Shri Bhagat said, in the coming days, focus will be to build roads in the 88 most backward Districts of the Country identified by the Planning Commission and the Home Ministry.

In his address, Secretary Rural Development Shri L.C.Goyal said, Accountabilty, Transparency and Efficiency are the three key pillars of the PMGSY. He said, PMGSY is not merely construction of roads, but it should be seen in the larger context of socio-economic impact it brings on the rural economy. Shri Goyal said, though the Government of India have launched many flagship schemes for poverty reduction, but PMGSY has proved itself as a very good model of good governance.

Earlier, Shri Birender Singh launched a new module on citizens complaint on programme software OMMAS, and released Standard Data Book and Journal Grameen Sampark.

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