Millennium Post

Existing rural road upgradation being carried out on war footing

Kolkata: The state Panchayats and Rural Development department is carrying out upgradation of the existing rural roads in West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia on a war footing.
The department is said to have submitted DPR for another 3,300 km stretch to the Centre on October 12. It may be mentioned that 13, 571 km rural roads have been constructed since the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in 2011. The erstwhile Left Front government had constructed 10, 239 km roads between 2000 and 2011.
The upgradation of the existing roads will further improve connectivity in the rural areas. Once the stretches which have remained unattended for decades are complete, the locals will be able to come to the main thoroughfare without any difficulty.
In Jhargram, which has become a new district recently, massive work is on to construct new roads as well as upgradation of the existing ones.
In rural Bengal, a sea change has come across in rural road connectivity since Mamata Banerjee became the Chief Minister in 2011. She held a meeting with senior officials of the state government and urged them to ensure that there is an improvement in rural connectivity and drinking water is made available in every household of rural
Accordingly, state minister for Panchayats and Rural Development department Subrata Mukherjee along with senior officials of the department and engineers chalked out a blueprint for the construction of
rural roads.
In all the 23 districts and 341 Blocks, construction of rural roads is in full swing. Funds have become a major problem for construction and maintenance of rural roads. Till 2014-15, the Centre used to bear 100 percent of the cost of construction while it was the responsibility of the state government to
maintain them.
From 2015-16, the scenario changed and the Centre decided to bear only 60 percent of the construction of the cost of construction. Thus, the state government will have to bear 40 percent of the cost of construction and also maintain them.
"The financial situation is bad but still we are going ahead with the upgradation of rural roads following the Chief Minister's instruction," said a senior official of Panchayats and Rural Development department.

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