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Govt to look at ways to reduce cost of roads in rural areas

Celebrating Good Governance Day, the Ministry of Rural Development has made an important announcement of conducting a nationwide survey aimed at reducing the cost of construction of roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana  (PMGSY). 

Talking about the survey, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said, “The motive of the ministry is to utilise PMGSY funds wisely. To study the proper utilisation of funds a committee would be formed under the chairmanship of DP Gupta to examine different issues pertaining to rural road scheme.” 

“The prime objective of the committee would be to study the quality of roads required in villages based on anticipated traffic movement for the next 10 years. If a village road has only single connectivity then what’s the use of making that road on the lines of specifications for multi-connectivity roads,” Singh added.

The union minister also told reporters that he will discuss with states the issue of road repairing as later are responsible for maintenance of village roads. He also said that the government has included a provision in the contract that contractors would be responsible for maintenance of roads for five years.

Talking about feasibility of implementing the study, Gupta told Millennium Post that the initiative is feasible and it will help in better utilisation of funds. “We will study specifications, traffic on the road would be reviewed considering its long-term implications. We will not compromise with quality of work rather it would encourage improving of the standard of roads.”

“The committee will try its best to meet the expectations of union minister by examining all issues such as soil, climatic conditions of the areas affecting the health of roads, poor maintenance, etc,” said Gupta, the former director general of road development. If we manage to save the fund, we will be able to provide other facilities such as medicines and books to poor people living in villages, Gupta added.

Thw move has been welcomed by social activists too. Talking to Millennium Post, Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kishan Shakti Sangthan said, “If the traffic is not heavy then why will you invest so much. If the objective is to make things more scientific, we welcome it, but if intentions are to reduce cost, that is going prove very dangerous.”

Dey also said there should be no compromise with the quality. The roads should be constructed with specifications similar to PWD. The social activist has also demanded that the government must put report of the committee on public domain so that people can comment on it with their valuable suggestions.

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