October 5, 2014 1:14:24 pm
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), a flagship scheme of the previous NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, seems not to have found much favour with the incumbent dispensation under Narendra Modi.
The Centre has allocated less than 20 per cent of the budget sanctioned by the previous UPA government for over 3000 km of rural roads in Uttar Pradesh under the scheme. The contractors working on the road projects are now threatening to leave the project midway citing fund shortage.
Against the sanctions and approval of about Rs 3,000 crore by the UPA government in the last fiscal, the NDA government has released only about Rs 550 crore in the current financial year to the state.
While the amount was expected to be utilised by the end of September, Uttar Pradesh Rural Road Development Agency is already flooded with complaints with contractors threatening to leave the construction midway. Not having funds to complete ongoing construction of roads under PMGSY-I, the state government has decided to put new tenders for about 2000 km length of roads under PMGSY-II on hold.
PMGSY-II was launched in 2013 and in January, 2014, the UPA government had sanctioned upgrade of 1,913 km length of rural roads in 47 districts of the state at a cost of Rs 1134 crore.
However, against the approval and sanctions of Rs 1,932 crore for about 6,000-km rural roads under PMGSY-I and Rs 1,134 crore for undertaking the upgradation work under PMGSY-II, the state government has been allocated only about Rs 550 crore. This includes actual allocations of Rs 465 crore along with about Rs 79 crore in interest from last year.
Anuj Kumar Jha, Chief Executive Officer, Uttar Pradesh Rural Road Development Agency confirmed that the tender for upgradation of 252 roads of 1,913-km length have been put on hold.
“We are already six months into the current financial year and out of the sanctions and approvals of about Rs 3000 crore, we have got only about Rs 550 crore for the current financial year. Since it is more logical to first complete the ongoing construction work, the tenders for upgradation work under PMGSY-II have been put on hold for a time being,” said Jha.
Sources in the government inform that while UP has been alleging bias in several central government schemes but in this case, almost all the states in the country are facing similar scenario as NDA government has allocated only about 20 per cent of the total funds sanctioned by the previous government.
While Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has written to Modi seeking remaining amount of sanctioned funds for the state, sources inform that Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan too pursued it with Union Rural Development Ministry. Sources said that if the situation continues, government might seek help from institutions like NABARD for assistance.
“It is true that some contractors have stopped work and others are threatening to do so but we are pursuing the case. While the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary have already written to the Centre, we are exploring other resources also,” said Principal Secretary, Rural Development, Arun Singhal.
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