Vasundhara Raje government has laid emphasis on rural connectivity in the state, your are at the helm of affaris as far as road and transport sectors are concerned. So what measures you have taken so far for rural connectivity?
Our government is committed for 100 percent rural connectivity with two ambitious projects Gramin Gaurav Path( GGP) and Centrally sponsored Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna(PMGSY). First time in the country, Rajasthan announced and implemented the Gramin Gaurav Path Yojna. We aim to connect every village under this scheme. Moreover, like towns these rural roads will also have lights and drainage provisions. Out of 9900 villages, the work has started to connect 2154 villages and we have completed works at 500 villages. The department has spent Rs 1115 crore for GGP so far. Secondly for to repair bad roads, we have earmarked Rs 847 crore fro 4250 km and the carpeting of these roads is being done. It is a big amount for reshaping the rural roads. To improve rural connectivity under the GGP, we will spend Rs 600 crore in the current fiscal covering 2000 km and 1100 roads.
What progress you have made under PMGSY?
Like the GGP, we have ambitious targets under Centrally sponsored PMGSY. During the current fiscal, we will spending Rs 1597 crore which will cover 1445 habitations. Upto 2010, the department had connected 10,863 revenue villages. Now total habitation sanction till 2014 was 3796 which include +500 population (1951) and 250 to 499 habitation ( 1847). The detailed project report for balance 1953 habitations has been ready. So we are making good progress under the PMGSY as well and Rajasthan has top position in performance among big eight states under this Central scheme.
But Union Rural Development Ministry (MoRD had refused to release the fund because of non submission of phase wise proposal of the works?
That issue has been sorted out. Under the PMGSY, we had submitted the detailed project report to the ministry in 2014. It pitched for the construction of 1,406 road works covering 4,102 km with Rs 1,702 crore. I personally met the Union Rural Development Minister Birender Singh for speedy action. Now the state gets a boost once again as pre empowered committee of by MoRD has approved revised phase wise proposal submitted by our department. The Centre will be releasing Rs 1,702 crore to the state for the 4,102 km of rural roads.
Quality is a major concern. What measures are being taken to improve quality?
Under GGP, village roads would be connected to main mega highways and it would built by cement concrete material by contractors qualifying the tenders in one year in all 2105 villages of 33 district. Moreover, the state government approved a project on OPRC (Output and Performance Road Contract) based to built to repair, maintain, and built new roads in some districts. Period of maintenance by the contracts has also been increased to 5-8 years. So enhancement of Defect Liability Period (DLP) for contractors would also help in maintaining quality of roads. Moreover, we have 3-tier quality check system. State quality monitors, state quality coordinators and national monitors keep constant vigil on works in progress.
For better quality, new technologies are being used in several states and by the national agencies. Does the department encourage such innovative technologies?
Definitely, we are also using new technologies and experiments are on at 60 works. Technologies help in testing suitability and strength of soil. Plastic waste, marble slurry and RBI-81 are being used widely. Cell-filled concrete is yet another new technology, which we have introduced for rural roads. We will keep on introducing innovative technologies. For 2014-15, under PMGSY, the government has allocated Rs 60.76 crore for these 60 works, where we are using one or another new technology.