Kolkata: The Panchayats and Rural Development department has given special emphasis on the construction of rural roads in 2018-19.
It may be mentioned that after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came to power in 2011, her government laid the main stress on the construction of rural roads. A scheme has been undertaken for the construction of 35,000 km of rural roads.
An instruction given to all the district magistrates by the department clearly states that the thrust area will be boulder-made roads, concrete roads, or roads built with gravels and paver blocks etc.
In case of the rural roads that are situated in different localities, canals need to be dug up to carry water. This step has been taken as rain water often damages the roads. Also, to construct metalled roads, stress will be on those with bigger lengths.
It may be mentioned that due to construction of rural roads, the economy of the villages has gone up. The road connectivity has improved and the villages have become well connected now.
Because of better road connectivity, tourism has come up as a major source of earning money.
Home stays are now playing a major role in the development of tourism in several districts, both in South and North Bengal, following the initiative taken up by the Chief Minister.
In several districts, new tourist lodges have come up and because of better rural road connectivity, most of the tourist lodges remain full on weekends and on special holidays.
Apart from the construction of new roads, the Panchayats and Rural Development department has also given importance to the maintenance of roads. A road maintenance policy has been chalked out. The use of jute has been introduced in the construction of rural roads.