The Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha has decided to spend over Rs 475 crore in the maintenance of rural roads during the current financial year to facilitate accessibility to the villages and interior areas of the state.
A rural road maintenance policy has also been formulated by the state government for regular repair and maintenance of roads, primarily constructed under the Central rural roads scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The policy which was approved by the state cabinet recently has also been appreciated by the Centre.
The funds available for maintenance of rural roads during the current financial year include allocation of Rs 300 crore made by the state government. Besides, the rural development department has received an incentive of Rs 175.67 crore from the Centre. The rural development department has become eligible for the incentive basing on its performance in respect of PMGSY work during 2016-17.
The technical audit will be conducted by an independent team of engineers or through consulting firms having expertise in the area of road maintenance to ensure effective maintenance of roads. This will be done on a sample basis by the departments under which the roads fall.
The report will be examined by concerned department of the state government and action for remedial measures improvement will be taken accordingly. The maintenance work will be executed by the concerned department following established procedure as defined in the OPWD code.
The annual maintenance plan will be made at the beginning of each financial year by the respective administrative department consisting of the details about the works to be carried out in the year for proper utilisation of the available funds.
Besides, the administrative departments will assess the requirement of funds basing on the norms decided by the Empowered Committee and propose the same to the Finance Department every year during preparation of annual budget for necessary provision.
Sources said the administrative department would prioritise rural road maintenance within the budget allocation. Maintenance would also be taken up through convergence of budgetary and extra budgetary resources.