Bhubaneswar, Jan 6:
The Union ministry of Rural Development has approved the proposals of the Odisha government for construction of 788 roads covering 2740 km and 17 bridges in the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) and cyclone-affected districts of the state under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) at a cost of Rs 1385 crore.
This was revealed by Union Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh in a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday.
Prior to this, the ministry had sanctioned Rs 2453 crore during the current fiscal for construction of 3924 km of rural roads.
Besides, the ministry, during 2012-13, had sanctioned Rs 2445 crore for construction of 5189 km of rural roads.
Stating that the cost of construction had gone up rapidly over the last two years due to scarcity of conventional materials for road construction, Ramesh requested the chief minister to explore the possibility of using industrial wastes and consider application of new technologies like soil stabilisation in road construction to reduce costs and save the environment.
For effective implementation of the scheme, the Union minister said that the state was required to rationalise the workload among the project implementation units (PIUs).
He also said that since the state had proposed to engage central agencies to implement the PMGSY works in the IAP districts, it should submit a formal proposal to this effect to the ministry at the earliest.
“Besides, for quality monitoring of the works at the state level, the state government should expedite second-tier quality inspection in some selected districts by engaging at least two institutions. The institutional monitoring should be actively encouraged”, Ramesh said.
He also said since cyclones and floods are a recurring phenomenon in Odisha, the ministry has advised the state government to seek technical advice from geotechnical experts on the design of roads and bridges in consultation with the National Rural Roads Development Agency (NRRDA) to minimise the effects of such natural disasters.