Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, in his mission to provide rural road connectivity, has constructed nearly 7.1 lakh km of roads. The government had said in March that 99% of targeted homes had received all-weather road connectivity under the scheme.
New and green technologies are increasingly used in the construction of PMGSY roads. To discuss ways to scale up and further adopt these emerging technologies, an international conference on “New Technologies and Innovations in Rural Roads” was organized from 24-26 May.
On May 26, low-volume rural road asset management and innovations in rural road maintenance and rehabilitation strategies were discussed.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), i.e. the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Programme, was launched in 2000 to provide all-weather road connectivity to unconnected dwellings of populations of 500 and over in the plains and 250 and more in the hilly regions. and other difficult areas.
In 2019, the most important phase of this program was launched for the consolidation of 1.25,000 km through major rural links connecting dwellings to important social and economic infrastructure.
A total of 7,82,850 km of road length has been sanctioned under the scheme since its inception with an expenditure of Rs. 3,44,500 crore. A total of 1,61,561 unconnected homes have so far benefited from all-weather road connectivity under the PMGSY.
Although rural roads are a public domain, the Center undertook this program as a one-time intervention for rural road connectivity. Northeastern states are prioritized in this scheme. Compared to the project cost sharing of 60:40 between the Central and the lowland states, the sharing model is 90:10 for the Northeastern states.
During the conference, experts explained why rural transport services are necessary for the beneficial impact of PMGSY roads, as well as the need for community participation in selection, route choice and traffic control. quality of rural roads.
New technologies and innovations in rural roads
Another highlight of the program is that more than 66,000 km of rural roads have been completed using green and new technologies. As a result, roads have been built more efficiently and faster, carbon emissions have been reduced and the environment has been protected, as well as maintenance costs have been reduced.
The main technologies used are plastic waste, cold mix, stabilization using chemical or commercial stabilizers, cellular concrete, cement concrete in panels, etc. .
PMGSY has focused on innovations in rural road management. The prioritization of roads for construction and maintenance is done in a systematic way. Innovative practices for PMGSY include the use of mobile apps for quality inspections, complaint logging and e-marg for maintenance tracking, as well as global web-based tracking.
Pradeep Agrawal, Director (Projects-I), NRIDA explained that the National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency, with assistance from CDAC and the National Informatics Centre, has developed an evidence-based digital platform for maintenance of rural roads across the country. This IT solution for digital maintenance of assets can be replicated on all infrastructure works.
Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhary, DG, BRO, delivered a lecture on overcoming the challenges of infrastructure development in hilly and remote areas. It is a pride that in the northeastern and hill states the program has made progress overcoming challenges such as adverse weather conditions, difficult terrain, short working season compared to usual challenges in other States such as land acquisition, deforestation and weak contracting capacity of States.
According to Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary of the MoRD, the PMGSY project’s goal of connecting about 1,78,000 homes is within reach and the focus is now on developing the rural economy. During his address, he urged engineering institutes to motivate their engineers and students to continue researching new technologies and materials.