CM directs allotment of more funds for ZP roads

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Mumbai, Aug 31 (UNI) Considering the need of the time, Zilla Parishads should be provided with sufficient funds for improvement and maintenance of rural roads, Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said.

Mr Deshmukh said this yesterday, while speaking in a meeting of Rural Development Department for road repairs in rural areas here, a release said today.

He said accordingly, the department concerned should develop plans and in the next budget create Special Head for road repairs.

During the meeting, officers revealed that there are 1,42,705 km long Zilla Parishad roads and 86,957 km Public Works Department roads. Though Zilla Parishad roads are longer than of Public Works Department, it gets insufficient funds for repairs and maintenance, the officials said.

For the year 2008-09, Public Works Department had demanded Rs 2,567 crore for maintenance of roads, of which it was given Rs 1,489 crore. Whereas Zilla Parishad had demanded Rs 2,803 crore and was given Rs 353 crore. Thus Zilla Parishad received 12 per cent funds, while Public works Department got 58 per cent funds, the officials said.

He said, ''Rural roads are not in good condition and members and officers of Zilla Parishads face ire of villagers. At present Zilla Parishad members are young and well educated, they are aware of their responsibility. Keeping this in view Finance Department along with the concerned departments should formulate project and schemes for the roads in rural areas.

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