In order to look into the better maintenance of rural roads in the State, Rural Development Department of Odisha has formulated an empowered committee. Formed as per a resolution issued on July 26, the committee comprises 11 members and will finalise funding norms for maintenance of different kinds of roads of different government departments as per the Odisha Rural Roads Maintenance Policy, 2017.
It will review and revise norms as and when required for better maintenance of roads, a senior official in the Rural Development Department told reporters.The Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary is the chairman of the committee, while secretaries to Finance, Water Resource, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water, Public Works departments and Engineer in Chief (Water Resources) and Engineer in Chief (Rural Development) are the members. The FA-cum-Additional Secretary of Rural Development is the member-convenor.
With a geographical area of 1,55,707 sq km and a population of 4.2 crore as per 2011 census, rural roads are critical since around 83 per cent of the population live in rural areas in Odisha. The rural roads also play an important role for socio-economic development of the population.
The objective of road maintenance, as per the Rural Roads Maintenance Policy, is to prolong the life span of roads by reducing the rate of deterioration, the cost of vehicle operation and sustaining the socio-benefits of improved road access.