economy

Cabinet nod to lay 32,152 km of rural roads for ₹33,822 cr

Cabinet nod to lay 32,152 km of rural roads for ₹33,822 cr

NEW DELHI : The Union cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to lay 32,152 km of roads in remote areas of the country at a cost of ₹33,822 crore. The cabinet also approved provisioning of mobile services in uncovered villages of aspirational districts across Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Odisha. The project envisages providing 4G based mobile services in 7,287 uncovered villages of 44 aspirational districts across the five states at an estimated cost of ₹6,466 crore, including operational expenses for five years, said Anurag Thakur, Union minister for information and broadcasting, during a press briefing. The project will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (Usof) and completed within 18 months of the signing of an agreement. Work related to provision of 4G mobile services in these villages will be awarded through an open competitive bidding as per Usof procedures, the government said. It said the move will enhance digital connectivity useful for self-reliance, facilitate learning, and disseminate information and knowledge, among other things. “[This is an] important cabinet decision, which will take the fruits of technology to our aspirational districts across five states and contribute to social empowerment, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In another decision, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister gave its approval to the proposals of department of rural development, ministry of rural development for continuation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-I and II up to September 2022 for completion of balance road and bridge works. The CCEA also approved continuation of Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) up to March 2023. The government started PMGSY-I to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations of population sizes of more than 500 in plain areas and more than 250 in the North-East and other Himalayan states. In selected Left-wing extremism–affected blocks, habitations with population above 100 were also to be provided connectivity. Only 2,432 habitations are left out of a total of 184,444 habitations. A total of 20,950 km of road and 1,974 bridges are left for completion out of total sanctioned 645,627 km of road and 7,523 bridges. Under PMGSY-II, upgradation of 50,000 km of rural road network was envisaged. A total of 49,885 km of road and 765 LSBs have been sanctioned, of which only 4,240 km of road and 254 bridges are left. Thus, these works will now get completed, Thakur said at the press briefing. RCPLWEA was started in 2016 to improve connectivity in 44 LWE affected districts in nine states. 5,714 km of road and 358 bridge works are left for completion and another 1,887 km of road and 40 bridges are being sanctioned. The scheme is being extended up to March 2023 for completion of these projects, which are very critical from communication and security point of view. “A good road network brings with it several benefits. Today’s cabinet decision pertaining to expanding our roads network will enhance rural development and help remote areas of the North-East as well as areas affected by Left-wing extremism, said Modi. The PMGSY promotes use of new and green technology in construction of rural roads. Locally available materials are used in road construction in order to promote cost-effective and fast construction. Download.

economy 2021-11-18 Livemint