The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Centre's ambitious project to connect the rural interiors with the state's roads, has failed to take off successfully in the Santhal Pargana districts — evident from an analysis of the past two years.
In the 2007-08 fiscal, the rural works department, the nodal agency assigned for the project, managed to complete only seven out of the 87 sanctioned roads, for which Rs 100 crore had been approved.
The state had approved Rs 100.45 core for the construction of 343.44-km of roads in Santhal Pargana. Of that, only Rs 29.28 crore was spent during 2007-08. Result: Eighty incomplete roads.
The situation was similar in the next financial year, 2008-09. Under PMGSY, 111 new projects were sanctioned and Rs 84.09 crore released. However, only five new roads were completed at a cost of Rs 12.25 crore.
During 2007-08, the construction of new roads was also not completed in Dumka, Sahebganj and Pakur districts. In Dumka, 12 new roads, stretching over 65.36-km, were scheduled to be completed. Out of the sanctioned Rs 21.18 crore, the rural works department spent only 5.85 crore.
In Deoghar, during 2007-08, only four the 39 sanctioned road projects were completed. Out of the sanctioned Rs 30.67 crore, the district managed to spend Rs 4.23 crore. In 2008-09, out of 35 sanctioned roads, only two were completed at Deoghar.
Similarly during 2007-08, only one road under this project was completed at Jamtara and two were completed in Godda. During 2008-09, Rs 10 crore was sanctioned for Godda. In 2007-08, out of a sanctioned Rs 27.06 core, Godda managed to spend only Rs 2.14 crore for completing two roads under the PMGSY.
The 2008-09 fiscal witnessed no improvement. As the officials concerned remained busy in publishing tenders and completing the formalities related to the tender process.
Not a single officer in the rural works department was available for comment on the cause of such delay or non-execution of the works for the roads under PMGSY.
Divisional commissioner of Santhal Pargana Sahazanand Sharma was also not available for his comment but sources from his office said that he recently expressed his deep concern over the delay of construction of the roads under the project.
Telegraph / June 9, 2009