The government plans to increase the pace of construction of rural roads to 133 kms per day as it aims to build 50,000 new roads with an investment of Rs 33,000 crore.
Replying to a discussion on the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the Lok Sabha, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Centre would not be found wanting in providing funds to the states under the PMGSY.
The pace of construction of rural roads was 100 km per day between 2014-2016, compared to an average of 73 km during 2007-14. The government is planning to increase the pace to 133 km/day, he said.
“We are planning to construct 50,000 new roads under the PMGSY with an investment of Rs 33,000 crore,” Tomar said, adding the government will use technology to identify roads which can be developed under the PMGSY.
As several members voiced concern over the pace of utilisation of funds received by the state governments from the Centre under the scheme, Tomar said the Rural Development Ministry will act and money would be recovered from the states which are found lacking in implementation.
The minister further said the Centre has launched a mobile app ‘Meri Sadak’ in which a person can lodge a complaint for roads being developed under the PMGSY and the Centre would respond to the complaint within 7 days.
As members expressed concern that Lok Sabha MPs do not have a say in the PMGSY and do not get to know when roads get constructed, Tomar said the rules provide for review by Lok Sabha MPs.
Henceforth, there would four reviews of PMGSY in a year and the first meeting would be held on August 13, he said and urged all MPs to attend the meeting to highlight the concerns of their own constituency.
As several members from Opposition Congress expressed disappointment over the reply of the Minister, Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai told Tomar that the members want to know the role of the Lok Sabha MPs in the PMGSY.
The minister replied that the government has created a robust monitoring mechanism to look into the progress of rural road construction under the Yojana.