Govt considering easing norms for road building in rural areas

Government is considering relaxation of norms for building roads in rural habitats asking the Rural Development Ministry to review population norms for habitations and come up with a new proposal in this regard.

The Union Cabinet, which had met here yesterday, asked Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to come up with the revised proposal which could relax norms to connect the unreached habitations through the Ministry's ambitious rural road scheme.

According to the existing scheme, habitations above 250 in tribal areas and hilly areas in the North East and habitations above 500 in all other areas of the country are eligible for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) scheme.

"Within a month's time, we must come back to the Cabinet with a proposal for reducing this norms under which the 500 threshold limit will become 250," Ramesh told reporters here on Friday.

In the tribal areas and hilly areas in North East, the scheme will be relaxed. Right now, the scheme applies to habitations with a minimum population of 250 in such areas and it would be reduced to 100, Ramesh said.

Construction and upgradation of rural road under PMGSY provides socio-economic benefits to all sections of the rural population including Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, differently-abled and minority communities.

The funds will be used to provide all-weather connectivity to rural areas.

It will, therefore, promote equity and geographical inclusiveness of growth processes by enhancing connectivity in the poorer and backward regions.

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