In a major boost to rural road connectivity across India, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the launch of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III). It involves consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
Under the PMGSY-III scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 125,000 Km road length in the states. The roads constructed under PMGSY would also be maintained properly.
It will entail an estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore with a Central share of Rs. 53,800 crore and state share of Rs 26,450 crore. The funds would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and state for all states except for eight north eastern and three Himalayan states — Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand for which it is 90:10.
The project will be implemented from 2019-20 to 2024-25. Selection of roads will be based on the sum total of the marks obtained by particular road on the basis of parameters of population served, market, educational and medical facilities.
Construction of bridges upto 150 metre in plain areas and 200 metre in Himalayan and NE states is proposed, as against the existing provisions of 75 metre and 100 metre in plain areas and Himalayan and NE states respectively.
The states shall be asked to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before launching of PMGSY-III in the concerned state for providing adequate funds for maintenance of roads constructed under PMGSY post 5-year construction maintenance period.
A total of 599,090 Km road length has been constructed under the scheme since inception till April, 2019, including of PMGSY-I, PMGSY-II and Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Area (RCPLWEA) scheme.
PMGSY-III scheme was announced by the Finance Minister in Budget Speech for the year 2018-19. The CCEA in its meeting held on August 9, 2018 approved continuation of PMGSY-I and II beyond 12th Five Year Plan and covering of balance eligible habitations under PMGSY-I by March 2019, PMGSY-II, and habitations under identified left wing extremism (LWE) blocks with a population of 100-249, by March 2020.
PMGSY was launched in December, 2000 with an objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size 500+ in plain areas and 250+ in North-East, hill, tribal and desert areas as per Census, 2001 for overall socio-economic development of the areas. The 97 percent of the eligible and feasible habitations have already been connected by all-weather roads.
The Government had launched Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) in 2016 as a separate vertical under PMGSY to provide all-weather road connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 districts, 35 are worst LWE affected districts and nine are adjoining districts, which are critical from security and communication point of view. Under the scheme, 5,066 Km road length has been sanctioned.