Hindustan News 19/09/2016

Nine states seem to be holding back India’s race to achieve full rural connectivity by 2019 with Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand topping the list, according to a central government assessment.

The fear is that the ambitious scheme may have to be pushed beyond 2019, a politically significant date as the Modi government will be up for re-election then, despite recent improvements having taken daily road construction to 130 km from the earlier average of around 85 km.

Besides the three worst performers, a review of `Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ (PMGSY) found progress wanting in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, prompting a concerned rural development ministry to begin meeting chief secretaries of these states to urge them to step up the pace of work.

Some of the states, like J&K and Chhattisgarh, face obvious problems of terrain and terrorism. Development work in these states is a challenge and recurrent political turmoil in J&K makes the state even less effective. West Bengal is seen to lack admini strative efficiency while Odisha and Rajasthan have large backward areas. Bihar’s road construction has improved but PMGSY records reveal more needs to be done.

Hindustan News 18/09/2016: http://epaper.livehindustan.com/