• Over 47,000km of rural roads constructed under PMGSY in FY17

    The government built 47,350 km of rural roads under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in 2016-17, the most in seven years.

    That compares with the 36,449km of roads constructed in 2015-16 under PMGSY and 36,337km in 2014-15, the rural development ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

    The faster pace of road construction is expected to boost the rural economy, enabling farmers to transport produce to markets quicker. It will also improve access of rural Indians to education and healthcare.

    During 2011-14, the average rate of construction of PMGSY roads was 73km per day, which increased to 100km per day in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the ministry of rural development said in a statement.

    In 2016-17, the pace of construction rose to a record 130km of rural roads per day, the highest average annual construction rate in the past seven years.

    Some 11,614 habitations were provided connectivity by the construction of PMGSY roads in 2016-17 or an average of 32 habitations were provided connectivity every day.

    To reduce the “carbon footprint” and environmental pollution, PMGSY is aggressively encouraging use of “Green Technologies” and non-conventional materials like waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly-ash, iron and copper slag in rural roads.

    PMGSY was launched in 2000 by the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government with the objective of providing all-weather road connectivity to unconnected rural habitations. It is being seen by the present NDA government as a key tool to spur domestic economic growth, given that the global economy recovery remains weak at present.

    Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced an allocation of Rs19,000 crore for the programme in the 2017-18 budget—the same as in 2016-17. Chris Carpenter Jersey

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