Rural road scheme, a hit amongst Jharkhand villagers

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Koderma (Jharkhand), May 13 (ANI): The rural road developmental scheme, launched by the Prime Minister, is being applauded by the villagers of Koderma in Jharkhand.

The scheme was launched in 2000 to improve the condition of the rural roads in India and facilitate development.

The scheme got a fresh lease of life after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was formed in 2004.

The villagers in Koderma district are very happy with the scheme as this eight kilometer long road connects about 20 villages with each other, acting as a lifeline in this belt.

The road has directly benefited the villagers on many counts, the most important being greater connectivity with bigger cities.

"It is a very important road. When the road was not constructed the people earlier had to walk all the way to catch the public transport. Now, the road has been made. The people reach the road using tempos to take the bus and go to places like Patna and Ranchi," Pradeep Pandey, a villager.

The farmers in the village are also benefiting from the road. This road is directly connected to the National Highway 33 and other important cities in the state like Jhumri Telaiya and Hazaribagh, which has enabled the farmers to sell their produce directly in the open market, thus avoiding middlemen.

The villagers are also relieved because improved connectivity meant that ailing people could now be rushed to hospitals in the city in case of any emergency.

They feel that the road will speed up the developmental process and enlighten them more because of increased interaction with the cities.

"The villagers now go to the city to solve their problems immediately. This has made the villagers very happy," said Shyam Sunder Singh, a social activist in the region.

The scheme is to be implemented in phases. Population in the area would govern the number of roads under each phase.

It is expected that about 3, 75,000 km of new road construction and 3, 72,000 km of upgradation/renewal would be undertaken as part of the scheme.

As of May 24, 2007, more than 122,000 km of roads have been completed under the Prime Minister Rural Road Scheme and work is in progress to cover another 1,00,000 km.

The construction cost of the road is being fully borne by the Government of India as a Centrally sponsored Scheme, while the State Governments are responsible for providing funds for maintenance. By Girija Shankar Ojha(ANI)

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