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BK Parashar, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, June 23, 2013
The villages identified under the Ram Manohar Lohiya Samagra Vikas Yojana, the Samajwadi Party’s flagship scheme, may have to do without the cement concrete (CC) roads for now.  Despite the fact that the scheme envisages saturation of all the identified villages with CC roads, the major component of the project, an acute fund crunch is coming in the way of achieving this ambitious task.

The state government had identified 1598 villages for the year 2012-13. These villages were supposed to have many facilities, major being construction of CC roads to the extent of saturation. The government also sanctioned  a huge amount of Rs. 2125 crore for the construction of roads there.

“But now the government recently scaled down the amount to just Rs. 391 crore because of lack of funds,” said a senior official in the Panchayati Raj department adding, “And even out of the 391 crore, only Rs. 100 crore has actually been released for the purpose so far.”

Sources said that now instead of saturation of the villages with the CC roads, the government has asked the departments concerned to spend Rs. 20 lakh, Rs. 30 lakh and Rs. 40 lakh per village (depending on the population of a village), on the construction of CC roads,

“With this amount we can build only small patches in the name of CC roads and the objective of laying CC roads in every nook and corner of the identified villages cannot be achieved,” the said.

Sources also pointed out the problem of fund crunch can be understood from the fact that villages were yet to be identified for 2013-14, the current financial year.