The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme namely “Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas” to improve the rural road connectivity in the worst LWE affected districts from security angle.
The project will be implemented as a vertical under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to provide connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 worst affected LWE districts and adjoining districts, critical from security and communication point of view. The roads will be operable throughout the year irrespective of all weather conditions.
Under the project, construction/upgradation of 5,411.81 km road and 126 bridges/Cross Drainage works will be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.11,724.53 crore in the above district. The fund sharing pattern of LWE road project will be same as that of PMGSY i.e. in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States except for eight North Eastern and three Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10. Ministry of Finance will have to allocate to Ministry of Rural Development Rs.7,034.72 crore for this project during the period of implementation 2016-17 to 2019-20.
Ministry of Rural Development will be the sponsoring Ministry as well as the implementing Ministry of this project. The likely duration of implementation of the project is four years from 2016-17 to 2019-20.
The “Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas” is envisaged in LWE States including the 35 worst affected LWE districts which account for 90% of total LWE violence in the country and 9 adjoining districts critical from security angle as per the inputs and lists of roads / districts provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The roads taken up under the scheme would include Other District Roads (ODRs), Village Roads (VRs) and upgradation of the existing Major District Roads (MDRs) that are critical from the security point of view. Bridges up to a span of 100 meters, critical from security angle would also be funded on these roads.
The PMGSY guideline does not permit construction/upgradation of MDRs. However, keeping special circumstances of LWE areas in view, MDRs would be taken up under the scheme as a special dispensation. The National Highways and the State Highways would be excluded from this project. The roads to be constructed under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the State Governments and the security agencies, by following a process of extensive consultation.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched on 25th December, 2000 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the objective to provide all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in rural areas of the country. The programme envisages connecting all eligible unconnected habitations with a population of 500 persons and above (as per 2001 Census) in plain areas and 250 persons and above (as per 2001 Census) in Special Category States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, Tribal (Schedule-V) areas, the Desert Areas (as identified in Desert Development Programme) and in Select Tribal and Backward Districts (as identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs/Planning Commission). For most intensive Integrated Action Plan (IAP) blocks as identified by Ministry of Home Affairs the unconnected habitations with population of100 and above (as per 2001 Census) are eligible to be covered under PMGSY.