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The Centre urged the States to speed up the execution of rural development schemes to achieve the goal of developed India. Addressing an All India Conclave of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Ministers at Guwahati, Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar said that development of India is intrinsically linked to development of villages. He lamented that despite 70 years of Independence, India is still lagging on several developmental parameters.
Tomar said the NDA Government has fixed the target years for completion of several major Central schemes. Giving the example of a housing programme called Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY) to be launched shortly, he said by 2019, one crore houses will be provided to the eligible beneficiaries after taking into consideration of SECC census, 2011 and 40 lakh incomplete houses will be completed under the old scheme of Indira Aawas Yojana. He added that by 2022, all the deprived sections of society will be given pucca houses under PMAY.
Similarly, speaking on the issue of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Tomar said that 15 percent of rural roads built under PMGSY are using Green technologies like cold mix, fly ash, geo-textiles, plastic and other waste materials and urged the States to use this technology on a larger scale. He urged the States to complete the road projects in timely to avail the Central funds and incentives as budget is no constraint for PMGSY.
The Minister said that apart from development of rural infrastructure, the programmes like Aajevika and skill development can transform the lives of rural poors, besides augmenting their income. He informed that there are 27 lakh Self-Help-Groups in the country with 3 crore women as members and they have availed about Rs 30,000 crore of bank loans to make local profitable products. Tomar said, about 15 crore family members are roughly covered under Aajevika Mission and he urged the State governments to help them find suitable markets to sell their products at profitable margins.
Speaking on the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Minister urged the State Governments to undertake campaigns on a large scale for behavioural change. He said, the Swachh mission should not remain a government programme, rather it should become a people’s movement. He informed that Sikkim is the first State which has become ODF (Open Defecation Free) and there are 19 Districts, 249 Blocks and more than 80,000 Villages which have become ODF.
Tomar reiterated that the Government has set the target of making India clean by 2nd October, 2019, which is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and added that though the target is very tough, but still achievable, provided there is strong will to achieve the same.