More than 80 per cent of the habitations in the country have been connected with all-weather roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, this was informed during the review meeting of the scheme.
The meeting was chaired by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. He directed senior state officials to speed up execution of rural road projects to achieve full rural connectivity by March, 2019.
Under the scheme, about 1.78 lakh eligible habitations with 500 populations in plain areas and 250 in hilly areas had to be connected by all-weather roads. Out of which as of March, 2014, 97,838 such habitations, which is 55 per cent of total were connected.
At present, about 1.31 lakh habitations have been connected under the PMGSY and another nearly 14,620 habitations have been connected through state government programmes, bringing the total habitations connected to 82 per cent, the Rural Development Ministry said in a statement.
This has been possible by speeding up the pace of road construction and habitation connectivity over the last 3 years, reaching 130 kms per day construction, highest in the last 7 years, in 2016-17, this was informed in the meeting.
Work is in progress in all but 1700 remaining habitations. The connectivity for these remaining 1700 habitations will also be approved by end December, it added.
"It is likely that we will be very close to 100 per cent connectivity of eligible habitations by March, 2019," officials informed at the meeting.
The major challenge lies in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttrakhand on account of the difficult terrain. In Chhattisgarh, Malkangiri district of Odisha and few areas of Jharkhand, challenge is on account of left wing extremism, they added.
The Ministry is constantly following up with all these states to ensure achievement of targets by March 2019, the officials said.