Govt for punitive action against lapses in PMGSY implementation

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) Rural Development Minister Ranghuvansh Prasad Singh today emphasised the need to provide for strict punitive measures for lapses occurred during the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojana (PMGSY) under Bharat Nirman.

Chairing the 10th meeting of the general body of National Rural Roads Development Agency (NRRDA) here, the Minister stressed the adoption of strict quality control in the construction of rural roads. He said so far 1.78 lakh kilometers of roads in rural areas under PMGSY has been constructed.

He also stressed for the time-bound completion of road projects under Bharat Nirman and said the States should be asked to adhere to the projects report sent by them to the Rural Development ministry and ensure that pretexts in delay in the completion of projects be avoided.

The meeting confirmed the proceedings of Annual General Body Meeting held on 26th March, 2008 and approved the Annual Report of NRRDA for year 2007-08. It also adopted the auditor account for the year 2007-08 and approved the revised estimate for the year 2008-09.

In addition, it was informed during the meeting that Ministry of Rural Development had submitted a memorandum for extending assistance for maintenance of rural roads to the 12th Finance Commission, who for the first time allotted an amount of Rs 15,000 crore for the maintenance of state roads including rural roads.

However, in order to ensure timely and need based maintenance of rural roads, a memorandum was submitted to the 13th Finance Commission, requesting for exclusive assistance for rural roads maintenance. The amount sought is Rs.8,400 crores per annum for 4 years.

This assistances is linked to systematic development of institutional and operational arrangements by the States as a prerequisite and yearly releases linked to the performance of States on the maintenance of rural roads in the previous year. Regarding the loan taken from NABARD it was informed during the meeting that till October 2008 an amount of Rs.377 crores has been withdrawn from NABARD under the RIDF window and disbursed to the States. The NRIDA also proposes to draw another Rs.7000 crore during the current year for road construction activities in rural areas.

The meeting was attended by representatives from NRRDA, CRRI, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Panchayati Raj alongwith the Ministry of Rural Development.

UNI AJ AKJ HT1815

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