The Centre, along with states, plans to spend around Rs 100,000 crore on the flagship rural roads programme, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) over the next three years starting from the 2017-18 financial year. This includes expenditure on building new roads, upgradation and maintenance of existing roads and building roads in hitherto unconnected Left-Wing Extremism affected districts of the country.
Officials in the know said that of this expenditure, about Rs 90,000 crore would be on the core programme (PMGSY 1 and 2), while another Rs 11,000 crore would be on a programme to connect LWE districts which also includes their respective state share.
The funds would be spent on completing the work on connecting all the 65,000 habitations that weren't connected in the first 15 years of the programme and also to upgrade the already build roads.
That apart, another Rs 11,000 crore from the Home Ministry would be spent on building roads in Left Wing Extremism affected districts by March 2020, also through the rural roads programme.
Of the nearly Rs 100,000 crore of expenditure on rural roads, about Rs 65,000 crore would be the Centre's share, while the remaining would be state's contribution in the ratio of 60:40.
In 2017-18 Union Budget, the Central government had allocated Rs 19,000 crore for PMGSY, while the state's share was pegged at Rs 10,000 crore.
A similar funding pattern is expected to be followed for the next three years taking the total allocation for the programme to around Rs 90,000 crore.
The Centre and states would additionally spend another Rs 11,000 crore on providing road connectivity to naxal affected blocks also under the same scheme, of which Centre's share would be somewhere around Rs 8,000-9,000 crore.
"In 2016-17, union budget also the total Central share for PMGSY was Rs 19,000 crore, but from it around Rs 2,000 was deducted as interest component on loans taken. So, the actual allotment to us was around Rs 17,000 crore which along with the state's share of Rs 10,000 crore took the total spending for rural roads to around Rs 27,000 crore," a senior official said.
He said that an allocation of almost Rs 29,000 crore was also made in 2016-17, but the actual receivable was slightly less as the interest on loan taken was deducted which won't happen from 2017-18 financial year onwards.
In 2017-17, the Centre plans to construct around 59,000 kilometers of either roads in rural areas in 2017-18 at the rate of almost 150 kilometers per day.
Though, officially it has pegged a target of building around 57,000 kilometers of rural roads in 2017-18, but officials said they are confident of building much more than that. In 2016-17, against a target of building 48,812 kilometers of roads, around 47,500 kilometers were actually built.
"The pace of work seen in the last few years has instilled confidence that we would manage to exceed the target in 2017-18," officials said.
He said the pace of road construction would be raised to 150 kilometers per day from the 133 kilometers achieved in 2016-17.
From 2011 to 2014, roads in rural areas under the PMGSY were constructed at 70-75 kilometer per day. And in the next two years 2014-16, it increased to 100 km per day.
In 2016-17, roads were constructed at the rate of 139 kilometers per day. PMGSY launched in 2000 during the previous NDA regime has been one of most focused programmes of the government to boost the rural economy.
Around 480,000 kilometers of rural roads had been constructed in the last 16 years since the start of the programme in 2000.