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Tamil Nadu, Gujarat Are Fastest In Rural Road Construction In Last Decade

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The Government has spent over Rs 1,25,000 crore ($25 billion) for building rural roads over the last 12 years. The results of this targeted spend are somewhat mixed. Some states have used the funds effectively while others have not. To be fair, some states have much larger outlays. IndiaSpend’s Prachi Salve looks at the projects completed till now and also a check on the quality of the roads.

 

Highlights

* Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have built the maximum number of rural roads in the last 11 years.
* Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and Uttarakhand have been the worst performers.
* Nationally, nearly 91 % funds have been released but only 76% work has been completed.

 

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was the flagship programme of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and was launched on 25th December 2000.  The aim is to ensure connectivity of habitations with population of more than 500 people in the plains and more than 250 in hilly and deserts areas with all-weather roads. India has 600,000 villages in all, and the target of PMGSY is to connect 159,000 villages.

 

The scheme is based on the principle of partnership between the centre and states and funds are released in the ratio of 75: 25 (90:10 in the case of North Eastern States including Sikkim.)

 
The scheme has been active for the last 12 years and has seen two elections. It has been carried forward by two consecutive Congress-led governments of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).  Table 1 shows the allocations and expenditures for the schemes under the different governments.

 

 

Table 1: Building Rural Roads

 

Year Allocation Expenditure
NDA
2000-01 2,500 6,607
2001-02 2,500
2002-03 2,500
2003-04 2,325
2004-05 2,468 3,077
UPA-I
2005-06 4,220* 4,100
2006-07 6,273*# 7,304
2007-08 11,000*# 10,618
2008-09 15,820*# 15,162
2009-10 17,840*# 18,832
UPA-II
2010-11 22,000* 22,399
2011-12 20,000* 14,496 ***

* Includes assistance from Asian Development Bank/World Bank.
#includes assistance from Asian Development Bank/World Bank.
***Up to January 2012, Figures in Rs crore
(Source: Ministry of Rural Development)

 

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA had allocated Rs11, 973 crore for the scheme, and the government spent Rs9,864 crore from 2000-2005.  The UPA government has allocated nearly Rs 67,561crore with an expenditure of Rs. 92,910 crore during 2004-12.

 

 

Achievements Till Now

 

So, Rs 1, 26,225 crore has been allocated for nearly 1, 11,603 projects under the scheme as of December 31, 2011.

 

 

Table 2: Zigzag Progress

 

Year Target Achievement
  No. of habitations to be connected Length of roads to be completed (in Km.) No. of habitations connected/ (in %) Length of roads completed (in Km.)
2005-06 7,895 17,454 8,202(103) 22,756
2006-07 13,857 45,395 10,892(78) 30,710
2007-08 14,015 55,020 11,336(80) 41,231
2008-09 18,100 64,440 14,454(79) 52,405
2009-10 13,000 55,000 7,986(61) 60,117
2010-11 4,000 34,090 7,584(189) 45,109
2011-12 4,000 33,000 3,710*(92) 19,443*

*up to December 2011
Source: Ministry of Rural Development

 

Rural road construction has been moving at an unsteady pace in the last six years. For instance, the highest amount of construction took place in 2008-09, an election year. Moreover, connectivity to habitations is declining with every passing year.

 
The target for 2011-12 has been revised downwards from 8,000 to 4,000 habitations. The target of 25,000 kms roads for new connectivity and 25,000kms roads for upgradation has been reduced to 16,000 kms and 17,000 kms, respectively. As per official statements, this was done since the government wants to avoid backlogs as a result of insufficiency of funds.

 

Best And Worst Performers

 

Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana have reported connectivity of more than 90% of their targeted habitations with equal or even less amounts being released by the central government. On the other hand, states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Assam have less than 50% of habitations connected while using almost more than 90% of funds allotted to them.

 

Tamil Nadu leads the table with Rs  1,706 crore (100%)  released and 4,894 (98%) road projects completed followed by Gujarat and Karnataka with Rs. 1,332 crore (103%) , Rs 3,140 crore (102%) respectively. These states have completed 2,987 (95%) and 3,071 (95%) projects, respectively.  States like Bihar, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir are lagging behind with only 1,689 (26%), 1,314 (41%) and 511 (37%) road works completed, respectively, with fund allocations of Rs  5,878 crore (73%), Rs 2,756 crore(71%) and Rs  1,901 crore (74%), respectively.

 

 

Table 3: Achievers and Laggards

 

State Funds released (in %) Amount Released (In Rs crore) Road works completed (in %) Number of Road works Projects Completed
Tamil Nadu 100 1,706 98 4,894
Gujarat 103 1,332 95 2,987
Karnataka 102 3,140 95 3,071
Haryana 95 1,317 94 395
Punjab 88 1,568 94 720
Andhra Pradesh 97 3,629 91 6,099
Maharashtra 89 5,258 91 4,827
UP 98 9,543 91 14,986
Rajasthan 93 8,491 90 11,465
Meghalaya 99 223 83 356
Madhya Pradesh 93 11,556 80 10,456
Goa 53 10 80 72
Nagaland 98 359 79 240
Chhattisgarh 89 5,352 79 4,264
Mizoram 91 570 75 144
Arunachal Pradesh 99 1,175 72 565
Manipur 92 649 71 731
Tripura 97 1,243 71 745
Himachal Pradesh 89 1,804 68 1,500
West Bengal 88 4,264 68 1,980
Orissa 90 8,981 67 5,751
Bihar (NEA) 92 5,118 56 1,935
Kerala 78 688 56 658
Sikkim 81 599 45 215
Uttarakhand 84 1,119 55 432
Assam 96 6,490 54 2,502
Jammu & Kashmir 74 1,901 37 511
Jharkhand 71 2,756 41 1,314
Bihar(RWD) 73 5,878 26 1,689
Total 91 96,733 78 85,504

(Source: Ministry of Rural Development)

 

One of the main reasons cited by the state governments for slow progress of projects is unavailability of funds. Other reasons cited by the state governments include land disputes, court cases, panchayat election or non-availability of required technical staff.

 

Even though the central government is claiming 77% road connectivity, the quality of completed works remains a concern. Inspections of the works carried out between January 2007 and August2010 by National Quality Monitors (NQMs) found that 56% projects were not up to the mark in Bihar followed by Nagaland (50%), Chhattisgarh (26%), Maharashtra (24%) and Meghalaya (22%).

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