A meeting will be held on July 1 in Delhi to discuss the matter. It may be mentioned that West Bengal has bagged the award for best construction of rural roads under Pradhan Matri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in the year 2013-14.
The target was to build 2,010 km of rural roads and by March 2014 the department had constructed 2,714 km. The Panchayat and Rural Development department had constructed 10,575 km road in the year 2011-16 March, against 10,690 km road constructed by the erstwhile Left Front government between the years 2001-11.
The Centre has drastically reduced the fund under PMGSY. Earlier it used to bear cent per cent cost and the state government had to maintain the roads. Now, the Centre’s share has come down to 60 per cent and the state government has to dish out 40 per cent of the cost along with maintenance of the roads. But despite the economic hardship, the state government is going ahead and improving road connectivity.
Construction of 3,600 km long rural road is going on in full swing. Jute is being used in the construction of rural roads. To ensure the quality of construction, a three-tier system is followed. First, the engineers inspect the road and give clearance certificate. This is followed by checks by a team of engineers and later on engineers from other states conduct the final inspection.
Because of improvement in rural connectivity, rural economy has improved and earning of every household has gone up. As thousands of small bridges and culverts have been built in the rural area, moving from one place to the other has become easy. It has also been easier for the students to reach schools on their bicycles received under Sabuj Sathi project. Better road connectivity has helped Trinamool Congress to consolidate the vote bank in rural belt.
Earlier during monsoons, the residents of the villages had faced problems in moving from one place to another. For example, before the Lalgarh Bridge was constructed, the people in Jangalmahal
had to go to Midnapre to reach Jhargram. But the construction of the bridge has not only saved time but has ensured a hassle-free journey for the commuters.