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The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), was established by the Govt. of India to render connectivity to unconnected habitations as part of a poverty reduction plan. The primary goal of the PMGSY is to give connectivity by way of an all-weather road with required culverts and cross-drainage infrastructure’s which is functional throughout the year to the eligible unconnected habitations in the rural areas with a population of 500 persons and above in accordance with the 2001 census in plain areas. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was established in 2000 to provide all weather road access to unconnected habitations. PMGSY is a completely centrally sponsored scheme. From 2015-16 onwards, the funding pattern has been modified to 60% Central share and 40% State Share. The main aspects of PMGSY are decentralized and documentation based planning, standards and specifications as per Indian Road Congress (IRC) and Rural Roads Manual, dedicated implementation mechanism at central, state and district level, scrutiny of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) at multiple levels.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Scheme – Insights
- It is a centrally ventured scheme and is part of the poverty reduction plan of the government.
- Eligibility for the Scheme: Rural regions with a population of 500 and above in plain areas; and hill states including NE, desert states, tribal areas and other backward areas with a headcount of 250 and above.
- Expect from building new roads, the scheme also has plans for the upgrade of existing roads in these areas, although the main focus is to give connectivity to unconnected habitations.
- All-weather roads refers roads that can be used throughout the year in all seasons.
- To give all-weather roads, the scheme envisages giving for the draining of roads by adequate cross-drainage structures such as culverts, minor bridges and causeways.
- The scheme does not cover repairs to black-topped or cement roads, even if the surface condition is not manageable
- The share of the central government’s funding is 60% of the cost with the share increasing to 90% for northeastern and hill states.
- Currently, the scheme is in its third phase – PMGSY – III.
- The roads built under this scheme are maintained by the Panchayati Raj institutions.
- The nodal ministry for the scheme is the Ministry of Rural Development.
- In 2012, an agreement was signed between the National Rural Roads Development Agency (NRRDA), the Ministry of Rural Development, and the ILO to provide the international organisation to help with the implementation of the project.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Scheme – Goals
The objective of the third phase of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana is to consolidate the current rural road network by the up-gradation of the existing ‘Through Routes and Major Rural Links’ that connect habitations to:
- Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs)
- Higher Secondary Schools
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Scheme – Importance
- Rural road connectivity is very essential for two main reasons
- One, it is a key aspect of rural development by enhancing access to social and economic services thereby increasing farm incomes and employment chances to people
- Secondly, it is a main ingredient in poverty alleviation.
- The building of roads, apart from national highways, is the task of the state governments. Because of inadequate funds and diverted focus of planners, rural roads barely received any attention. This scheme promises to fill this gap and take the fruits of development to remote corners of the country.
- Enhanced connectivity will assist the rural population avail opportunities of employment, health, education and other social welfare schemes given by the government.
- Good, dependable roads infers to easier and faster connectivity from farm to market, timely movement of perishable products from village to market centres, and provide an incentive to industry to move to the hinterland among many other such benefits.
- Connectivity also enhances government functionaries such as health workers, teachers, and agriculture extension workers to willingly move to the villages to offer their services. This ultimately give in to prosperity, and allows economies of scale and sustainable employment.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Scheme – Adversities Faced
Deficiency of funds
- The maintenance of the roads built will require spending of ₹75,000-80,000 crore over a five-year period starting 2020-21 according to the Ministry of Rural Development.
- States will need to spend ₹11,500 crore in the present fiscal year and the needed amount would rise to over ₹19,000 crore by 2024-25.
- Given that the Central Government’s revenues are under stress, it is not easy to predict whether a good enough grant of funds would be transferred to the states.
- According to the report of the Standing Committee on Rural Development (Chair: Dr. P Venugopal) that submitted its report on ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ in March 2017, often transfers of trained and experienced staff in State Rural Roads Development Agencies hampers the effectiveness of monitoring the scheme.
- The report also noted that various projects under the scheme were lagging behind due to-
- inadequate execution and contracting capacity, and
- unavailability of land and forest clearances.
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