Good roads vital for socio-economic growth: Governor

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SRINAGAR: Stressing the need for expanding and improving intra-state connectivity, Governor, N N Vohra on Wednesday said that quality road network, especially in the rural areas, is crucial to the economic and social inclusion of a large percentage of population living in the difficult areas of the State.
“To support the rural economy, it is critical to ensure that road infrastructure is built and maintained in a manner which ensures all-weather connectivity and withstands the climatic vagaries,” Vohra said at a high-level meeting convened here this afternoon to review the progress of road projects in the State under the flagship Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
Advisors to Governor BB Vyas, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai and chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam were present at the meeting.
Vohra stressed that while formulating the road projects, the executing agencies must consider how climate resilient construction can be integrated into the planning of rural roads. “These connectivity projects will erase the geographical boundaries between people living in far flung areas of the state and open up new vistas of social progress and economic prosperity,” he said and called for expediting the PMGSY projects and addressing the bottlenecks including forest clearances and land acquisition at the earliest in coordination with the concerned Departments.
To address the bottlenecks, it was decided that Principal Secretary Planning Development and Monitoring Department shall compile district-wise profiles regarding the hurdles being faced including delays due to land acquisition, forest clearances and shifting of utilities so that the same are addressed in a coordinated manner at the highest level in the government.
Expressing serious concern over the mounting casualties in road accidents in the state, Vohra stressed the need for improving the quality of the roads, especially in hilly areas.
He asked the executing agencies to urgently accelerate the pace of work so as to complete all the schemes on the targeted date without any loss of time or cost-overrun especially in the Kashmir valley, winters zones of Jammu and Leh/Kargil where the working season is very limited.
Commissioner Secretary PWD, Khurshid Ahmad Shah made a detailed presentation about the progress of various road connectivity projects under PMGSY. He informed that under PMGSY, around 9000 kms of roads have been achieved. For the current year, the target is 2800 kms.
The meeting was informed that PMGSY is aimed at providing new connectivity’ to the un connected habitations, either through new roads or through up gradation of existing roads, where an intermediate link, even though present, cannot be used as an all-weather road.