Centre sanctions Rs1493 cr for roads

October 11, 2013

TNN  |

BHUBANESWAR: The central government has sanctioned Rs 1,493 crore for construction of 2,982-km road in the state under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh communicated the Centre’s decision to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday. Ramesh said last year the Centre had sanctioned Rs 2,445.75 crore to Odisha for construction of 5,189-km road. Earlier, this year proposals worth Rs 1,067 crore were sanctioned for 1,184-km road. Jairam’s letter said the state government could send more proposals for road construction before December.

While unhesitatingly approving road construction projects for Odisha, the Union minister expressed doubt over the state government’s ability to execute them. “The execution capacity is a major concern. The state will have to establish a minimum of 20 more project implementation units (PIUs) for expediting the sanctioned road projects. The state is having a workload of about Rs 6,000 crore and has engaged only 50 PIUs, whose capacity is only about Rs 3,125 crore,” Ramesh’s letter reminded Naveen. He also said the state government should send proposals for road connectivity to villages having more than 100 population in 18 IAP districts soon so that they could be approved ‘in the next couple of months’.

Ramesh said Odisha had ‘received unprecedented assistance’ from the Centre in the matter of rural roads. “However, around 13,000 km still remains to be sanctioned, which indicates the magnitude of the challenge,” the Union minister said, adding, the centre was ready to approve projects ‘provided the state government is able to submit the DPRs and expand contracting and implementation capacity expeditiously’.



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