Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today formed an Empowered Committee to look into better maintenance of roads in rural areas.
Rural Development Department constituted the 11-member Empowered Committee which will finalise funding norms for maintenance of different kinds of roads of different government departments as per the Odisha Rural Roads Maintenance Policy, 2017. Besides, it will review and revise norms as and when required for the better maintenance of the roads.
The Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary is the Chairman of the committee, while the Finance Secretary, Water Resource Secretary, Rural Development Secretary, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Secretary, Works Secretary, Engineer in Chief (Water Resources) and Engineer in Chief (Rural Development) are the members. The FA cum Additional Secretary of Rural Development is the member-convenor.
Odisha has a geographical area of 1, 55, 707 square kilometres and a population of 4.2 crore as per the census data of 2011. Around 83% of the population of the state lives in rural areas. Rural roads play an important role for the socio-economic development of the rural people.
The objective of road maintenance, according to the Rural Roads Maintenance Policy, is to prolong the life period of the roads by reducing the rate of deterioration, cost of vehicle operation and sustaining the socio-benefits of improved road access.