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Centre relaxes PMGSY for rural roads

Guwahati, Dec 1 (PTI)
Published on 2 Dec. 2012 1:15 AM IST
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The Centre has decided to relax norms for Assam so that it can get benefits at par with tribal areas and hill states for constructing rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said today.

“So far under PMGSY programme, the criteria is that habitations with a population of more than 500 will be taken up for connectivity, except in the hill states and in tribal areas of the country where the population norm is 250,” the Rural Development Minister told reporters here.

“Assam is not classified as a tribal area or as a hill state. In Assam, the population criteria is 500. The Cabinet in its meeting last week has directed me to come back to it within one month’s time to change the criteria for Assam so that all habitation with 250 plus population gets connected under the PMGSY programme,” he added.

This will benefit over 3,000 habitations and entail construction of an additional 2,500 kms of roads in Assam.

Ramesh said there is also another proposal to reduce the population criteria to 100 in tribal areas under Fifth Schedule.

Lauding the performance of the PMGSY programme in Assam, Ramesh said 13,000 kms of rural roads have been constructed in the state during past 11 years at an expenditure of Rs 7,100 crore. The project is fully funded by the Centre.

“Today I discussed with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi the balance of the programme. There are around 4,500 kms of roads left to be built to connect all habitations with 500 plus population,” he said.

“By end of February, proposal for the rest would be submitted by the state government and we hope that within this fiscal, the sanction from the Central government would be in place,” Ramesh said.

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