Bharat Nirman campaign likely to end by 2 March
Bharat Nirman – the flagship rural infrastructure development programme campaign of the UPA government – is likely to come to an end by 2 March followed by the announcement of upcoming general election dates.
Sources said earlier the Bharat Nirman campaign was about to end by 28 February but it was extended and going to end by 2 March. ‘The Lok Sabha election dates will be announced in the first week of March and after that the government cannot run through the advertisements as per norms,’ he said.
Bharat Nirman is an Indian business plan for creating basic rural infrastructure. It comprises projects on irrigation, roads (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana), housing (Indira Awaas Yojana), water supply (National Rural Drinking Water Programme), electrification (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana) and telecommunication connectivity.
It was launched by the UPA government in 2005 and was implemented during 2005-06 to 2008-09. It was aimed to cover 55,067 un-covered and 3.31 lakh under developed areas with safe drinking water facilities. It also aimed to improve the quality standard of drinking water of 2.17 lakh areas which had poor quality water supplies
Recently, the finance minister P Chidambaram in his 2014-15 Interim Budget speech said, ‘A stretch of 39,144 km of rural roads was constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
However, allocation towards the rural road scheme, overseen by the Ministry of Rural Development, fell from the 2013-14 Budget Estimates of Rs 15,690 crore to Rs 8,685.52 crore in the revised estimates. For 2014-15, the Plan allocation towards this stands at Rs 4,529 crore, 47.8 per cent lower than the revised estimates for 2013-14.
The Indira Awas Yojana, the rural housing programme under Bharat Nirman, also witnessed the 2013-14 revised estimate fall to Rs 11,865.60 crore from the Budget Estimates of Rs 13,665.60 crore, a drop of 13.1 per cent. For 2014-15, the allocation was only Rs 21 crore, owing to restructuring of the scheme.
The subsidy for Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, the rural electrification programme, has also come down drastically to Rs 2,868 crore in FY13-14, as against Budget Estimate of Rs 4,041 crore.
Not the least the revised estimate for the National Rural Drinking Water Programme in Budget 2013-14 has come down to Rs 8,730 crore as against Budget Estimate of Rs 9,900 crore.