The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, ‘Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas’ to improve the rural road connectivity in the worst LWE affected districts from security angle.
The project will be implemented as a vertical under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to provide connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 worst affected LWE districts and adjoining districts, critical from security and communication point of view. The roads will be operable throughout the year irrespective of all weather conditions.
Under the project, construction/upgradation of 5,411.81 km road and 126 bridges/Cross Drainage works will be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs11,724.53 crore. The fund sharing pattern of LWE road project will be same as that of PMGSY, in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States except for eight North Eastern and three Himalayan States; Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand for which it is 90:10. Ministry of Finance will have to allocate to Ministry of Rural Development Rs 7,034.72 crore for the project during the period of implementation 2016-17 to 2019-20.
The ‘Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas’ is envisaged in LWE States including the 35 worst affected LWE districts which account for 90 percent of total LWE violence in the country and 9 adjoining districts critical from security angle as per the inputs and lists of roads / districts provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The roads taken up under the scheme would include Other District Roads (ODRs), Village Roads (VRs) and upgradation of the existing Major District Roads (MDRs) that are critical from the security point of view. Bridges up to a span of 100 meters, critical from security angle would also be funded on these roads.
The PMGSY guideline does not permit construction/upgradation of MDRs. However, keeping special circumstances of LWE areas in view, MDRs would be taken up under the scheme as a special dispensation. The National Highways and the State Highways would be excluded from this project. The roads to be constructed under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the State governments and the security agencies.