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Women in rural India will have their say in deciding the road projects, a modification in the guidelines of centre’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) said.
The new rule makes it mandatory for all rural road projects to take into account the opinions or objections of women members of the panchayats and women self- help groups.
According to the existing rule, before a rural road is sanctioned, the government has to take into confidence the head of the local panchayat, who along with the junior engineer and patwari surveys the entire stretch of the road – a survey known as the ‘transect walk’. According to the new rules, the ‘transect walk’ must include women members of the panchayat and also members of women self- help groups.
“As part of the PMGSY process all states may include a simple non-formal transect walk to be organised by the assistant engineer at the time of the preparation of the detailed project report. The panchayat pradhan, local patwari, the junior engineer, women self- help groups and women PRI members would participate,” according to the new guidelines issued on July 22.
“We decided that some modification in the existing rule could ensure gender involvement,” a ministry official said.
Gender budgeting was formally adopted by central ministries and state governments in 2007-08 based on the recommendations of an expert group formed by finance ministry. The objective was to effect a change in the ministry’s policies, programmes in a way that could tackle gender imbalances, promote gender equality and development.