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Government approves launch of third phase of rural road programme

In a cabinet meeting, the launch of Phase-3 of the Centre's flagship rural road scheme PMGSY was approved

Rural road scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, PMGSY, Himalayan

To boost connectivity of villages with hospitals, schools and markets, the Centre has approved the launch of Phase-3 of its rural road programme to widen and revamp 1.25-lakh km of roads in the country. In a cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the launch of Phase-3 of the Centre's flagship rural road scheme Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was approved.

This phase involves consolidation of 1.25-lakh km of existing rural roads connecting villages to rural agricultural markets, higher secondary schools and hospitals, it stated, adding that plastic waste will also be used during work on these roads.

States will be asked to enter into Memorandum of Understanding before launching PMGSY-III to provide adequate funds for maintenance of roads in the five-year period after construction. Construction of bridges of up to 150m in plain areas and 200 m in Himalayan and north eastern states are proposed under this phase, as against the existing provisions of 75m and 100m in plain areas and Himalayan and north-eastern states respectively.

This will facilitate easy and faster movement to and from agricultural markets, schools and hospitals. It will entail an estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore, which would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and states.

In case of eight north-eastern and three Himalayan states the ratio will be 90:10. The 1.25 lakh km of rural roads will be further consolidated by building new link roads, revamping and widening existing roads. PMGSY was launched in December, 2000 with an objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size of more than 500 in plain areas and 250 in north-east, hill, tribal and desert areas as per census of 2001.

Ninety-seven per cent, of all the eligible and feasible habitations have already been connected by all-weather roads under this scheme, the government said.

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