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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

MP's to have say in rural road projects

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 06, 2011
First Published: 19:32 IST(6/5/2011) | Last Updated: 20:08 IST(6/5/2011)

From now on, Members of Parliament would have their say in the selection of rural roads to be laid in the respective constituencies under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a prime component of Bharat Nirman taken up the UPA government.
 
In a circular issued four days back, the ministry of rural development instructed the States to append a proof of consultation with the respective MP, a must now for a proposal to be considered.

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About one-lakh habitations in the country are still without a road connection.
 
Making for greater participation of public, the proposal should have ten photographs taken during the - Transect Walk - showing locals and if present, the MP's presence. Transect walk, with community participation, is to determine the most suitable alignment, sort out land availability issues and moderate any adverse socio-environmental impact from a road project.  
 
"Fresh proposals will not be considered without these documents, in addition to fulfilling other mandatory requirements," the circular says.
 
The move comes after representations from several MPs that their views are not taken on board, while approving a road project, seen as a development sign - in their constituency.

As guidelines did not serve the purpose, the ministry issued the instructions now.
 
Even as they let the political class take the call on location of all weather roads, officials expect the move would expedite the projects, mitigating any land issues as the road is now under the aegis of the MP.
 
"In spite of land availability certificates, several roads could not be laid or had to be dropped on grounds of actual non-availability, which could be avoided," a senior official said.

The ministry also instructed that quality monitoring of road works - intended to weed out corruption in projects - would be carried with participation of the MPs to address their concerns.

After MPLADS under which a MP can now disburse Rs. five crore for his constituency, the MPs could now claim credit over the location of the PMGSY roads in their area.
 
PMGSY - Launched December 25, 2000 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the project provides all weather connectivity to the unconnected villages. Against target of 54,648 habitations between 2005-12, roads were laid to 38, 575 villages (till Dec 10) a 71% achievement.


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