Government is committed to complete road projects identified under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) by 2019, Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.
The scheme was envisaged during the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee but the progress slowed down as the UPA government reduced its funding, Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kirpal Yadav said, adding that “we have increased the fund amount for the scheme.”
Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, Yadav referred to Bihar and said it had made comparatively less progress under PMGSY and added that the pace at which work should have been carried out by the state government was not maintained.
Yadav also said that paucity of funds was not a reason for the slow progress made till now.
Minister of Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar also shared details relating to Bihar as per which in the last four years, 6,301 road works were sanctioned for the state by the ministry.
Of these, 2,942 road works have been completed and 3,359 road works measuring 6917.517 kms are under consideration. The states are responsible for tendering, awarding and executing road projects under PMGSY, Tomar said.
In reply to another question on allocation fund for cleanliness campaign, Tomar who also holds the charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said the criterion adopted for allocation of funds to various states for ‘Swacch Bharat’ campaign was based on the population and number of families in the state.
He was asked on what basis was Himachal Pradesh given Rs 98.3 crore under the scheme, to which he said it was as per the set criteria.
In Maharashtra, he said a total of Rs 528.94 crore has been sanctioned for the year of which Rs 264.47 crore released till June this year, assuring that more funds will be released after receiving Utilisation Certificates.
Concerns were also raised in the House about the success of the project for constructing toilets especially in hilly areas, with members saying it should be linked with the availability of water, “otherwise it remains a subject of advertisements.”