Under the flagship programme, run by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), 47,350 km of rural roads was constructed during 2016-17. This is the highest construction of PMGSY roads in a single year, in last 7 years. The programme was launched on December 25, 2000 to provide all weather road connectivity to the villages and remote areas across the country. PMGSY is seen as one of the biggest infrastructure projects of India, pushing the rural economy of the country.
A release issued by the Ministry, states that during the period 2011-14, the average rate of construction of PMGSY roads was 73 km per day, which increased to 100 km per day during 2014-15 and 2015-16. For the year 2016-17, a record of 130 km per day has been achieved, which is the highest average annual construction rate, in the last 7 years.
The release further added that 11,614 habitations were provided connectivity by construction of 47,350 km of PMGSY roads during 2016-17 (an average of 32 habitations being provided connectivity every day). In terms of number of habitations connected with PMGSY roads, 11,606 is highest ever in the last 7 years.
With a view to reduce the “carbon footprint” of rural roads, reduce environmental pollution, increase the working season and bring cost effectiveness, PMGSY is aggressively encouraging use of “Green Technologies” and non-conventional materials like waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly-ash, iron and copper slag etc. in rural roads. 4,113.13 km of PMGSY roads were constructed using “Green” technologies in 2016-17. This is substantially higher than 2,634.02 km achieved during 2014-2016 and 806.93 km achieved during 2000-2014.
To ensure quality assurance, the field inspections of PMGSY works by National Quality Monitors (NQMs) were increased. 2016-17, witnessed a record number of 7,597 NQM inspections compared to 6,516 inspections in 2015-16, 5,226 inspections in 2014-15 and 2,977 inspections in 2013-14. Out of 7,597 works inspected only 8.21 percent works were found to be of “Unsatisfactory” quality in 2015-16.