IMPHAL, Oct 28 – Construction of new roads and upgradation of certain inter-village routes in Manipur under the Centrally sponsored schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has started to change the lifestyles of several villagers.“The recent construction of a road in between Sugunu and Sekmaijin villages has helped the villagers to change their lifestyles upto a certain level”, a senior official of Manipur State Rural Road Development Agency (MSRRDA) said while interacting with The Assam Tribune here.
The 40.5 km road between Sugunu in Thoubal district and Sekmaijin village in Imphal West district which was upgraded under PMGSY since the last four years now connects at least a dozen villages of the two districts.
Thus the villagers of Laphupat, Tera, Warukok, Phoubakchao, Sekmaijin and those remote villages under Sugunu Assembly constituency now could have a joyride with those mini-bus and jeep plying along the newly developed route, the official of MSRRDA added.
MSRRDA is the implementing agency of the Centrally sponsored PMGSY schemes in Manipur. PMGSY is a 100 per cent Centrally-sponsored scheme to provide road connectivity in rural areas.
So far the agency has managed to connect 190 villages in Manipur by constructing new roads besides upgrading the existing roads under the scheme. But it targets to connect not less than 500 villages of the State by constructing new roads covering a total distance of 3,160.86 km till the end of its seventh phase.
Till end of September this year, the construction firms under the State’s implementing agency has completed 664 work packages out of allotted 1,023 with an expenditure of around Rs 42,732 lakh, according to an achievement report of MSRRDA.
In Manipur, as per the national guideline – a work package under PMGSY means construction works worth Rs 5 crore only..“As a result we took up the Sugunu-Sekmaijin road under four sections (four work packages)”, the official further informed.
The works were taken up as per the recommendation from the government including the State MLAs and MPs. But the officials here in Manipur are facing various forms of difficulties while implementing the schemes mostly in the valley districts compared to hill districts as the community participation in the valley is low so far, local sources said.
Though villages with population of 500 and above were covered in the initial phases, but it was later extended to villages with a population of 250 in the following phases, the sources added.
The Government India targets to construct 3.68 lakh km new roads besides 370,000 km of upgradation and renewal to provide connectivity to unconnected rural habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy at a cost of about 26 billion US dollars.