LWE bump in ru­ral road scheme

5% of funds spent on mak­ing roads in Jhark­hand, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Odisha and Te­lan­gana

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI - PUSHKAR BANAKAR

ONLY five per cent of the al­lo­cated funds have been spent for con­struc­tion of roads un­der the Prad­han Mantri Gram Sadak Yo­jana (PMGSY) in Left Wing Ex­trem­ism (LWE) af­fected ar­eas, data from the min­istry of ru­ral de­vel­op­ment re­vealed. Ac­cord­ing to the data, of the J1,121 crore al­lo­cated in 11 LWE af­fected states, only J5.43 crore has been spent. In States like Jhark­hand, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Odisha and Te­lan­gana, not even a sin­gle ru­pee has been spent of the al­lo­cated J246 crore, J57 crore, J97 crore and J136 crore re­spec­tively. Min­istry of­fi­cials at­tribute the lack­lus­ter per­for­mance to con­stant hin­drance by Nax­als. “We know that Mao­ism is a prob­lem as­so­ci­ated with de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties. Some­times, the roads made have been blown up and other times there is lack of con­trac­tors due to the Naxal threat. Hence, there is a de­lay in con­struc­tion of the roads,” a min­istry of­fi­cial said. How­ever, the min­istry data says that a to­tal of 2,461 habi­ta­tions have been con­nected in LWE af­fected ar­eas through the pro­gramme. While 1,022 habi­ta­tions have got roads in Bi­har un­der the scheme, Odisha and Jhark­hand have seen con­nec­tions of 653 and 453 habi­ta­tions re­spec­tively. The PMGSY is a pro­gramme that was launched with the aim to con­nect ru­ral habi­ta­tions which have a min­i­mum pop­u­la­tion of 250 house­holds. The pro­gramme has ex­emp­tions for spe­cial ar­eas like tribal belts, moun­tain­ous re­gions and N-E states.

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