On November 17, 2021, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved – the 4G mobile services in over 7,000 uncovered villages of 44 Aspirational Districts across 5 states and continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-I and PMGSY-II up to September 2022 & approved continuation of Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) upto March, 2023.
Approved 4G mobile services in 44 Aspirational Districts across 5 States
The Cabinet has approved a project to provide 4G based mobile services in the 7,287 uncovered villages of 44 Aspirational Districts across 5 States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Odisha at an estimated cost of implementation about Rs 6,466 crore including operational expenses for 5 years.
- The project will be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and it is projected to be completed within 18 months after signing the Agreement.
i.Objective: To enhance digital connectivity in the uncovered villages by creating self-reliance, facilitating learning, dissemination of information and knowledge, skill upgradation and development, disaster management, and e-Governance initiatives.
ii.The project will also provide adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing and availability of job opportunity and fulfilling the vision of Digital India and the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat, etc.
iii.The 4G services will be provided through open competitive bidding process as per extant USOF procedure.
Approved Continuation of PMGSY-I, II Schemes till September 2022
i.Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the proposals by the Union Rural Development Ministry for continuation of the PMGSY-I and PMGSY-II up to September 2022 to complete road and bridge works.
- The cabinet cleared a proposal to lay 32,152 km of roads in remote areas of the country at a cost of Rs 33,822 crore, out of which, the Centre would spend Rs 22,978 crore.
- A total of Rs 1,12,419 crore, including state share, is expected to be incurred from 2021-22 to 2024-25 for completion of all the ongoing interventions of PMGSY.
ii.The CCEA also approved continuation of the Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) up to March, 2023.
i.It was initiated in 2000 to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations of population sizes of more than 500 in plain areas and more than 250 in the North-East and other Himalayan states.
ii.It also provides connectivity to selected Left-wing extremism (LWE)–affected blocks, habitations with population above 100.
iii.Only 2,432 habitations are left out of a total of 184,444 habitations. A total of 20,950 km of road and 1,974 bridges are left for completion out of a total sanctioned 645,627 km of road and 7,523 bridges.
i.It was approved in May, 2013, for upgradation of 50,000 Km of existing rural road network.
ii.Around 4,240 km of road and 254 bridges are left for completion out of a total of 49,885 km of road and 765 LSBs (Long-Span Bridges) that have been sanctioned.
iii.Most of the pending projects are in North-East & Himalayan states/Union Territories and also in Bihar.
It was launched in 2019 for consolidation of 1,25,000 Km road length by March, 2025. Around 72,000 Km road length has so far been sanctioned under PMGSY-III, out of which, 17,750 km has been completed.
i.It was started in 2016 to improve connectivity in 44 LWE affected districts in 9 states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, with an outlay of Rs. 11,725 crore.
ii.Around 4,490 Km road length and 105 bridges have already been completed since 2016.
iii.10,231 Km road length and bridges sanctioned under the scheme so far with an outlay of Rs. 9,822 crore.
iv.It has around 5,714 Km road length and 358 bridge works balance for completion. Another 1,887 Km road length and 40 bridges are being sanctioned under RCPLWEA.
i.It was launched by the Government of India to provide all weather road access to unconnected Habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.
ii.Initially PMGSY was a 100 percent centrally sponsored scheme. From 2015-16 onwards, the funding pattern has been revised to 60 percent Central share and 40 percent State Share. The programme objective is to provide round-the–year connectivity by all weather roads with necessary culverts and cross drainage structures.
iii.The PMGSY promotes use of new and green technology in construction of rural roads. Locally available materials are used in road construction to promote cost-effective and fast construction.
- So far more than 1 Lakh Km road length has been taken up using new and green technology, out of which, more than 61,000 km has been completed.
iv.The PMGSY envisages a three tier Quality Assurance Mechanism to ensure quality of road works during construction and post-construction.
v.The majority of pending works under PMGSY-I and II are in the North-East and Hill States due to factors such as COVID-19, extended rains, winters and forest issues.
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The Union Cabinet also approved a proposal to hike Dearness Allowance (DA) of the central government employees and pensioners by 3%. It also decided to increase the House Rent Allowance (HRA) of the Central government employees from August 2021.
About Ministry of Rural Development
Union Minister – Giriraj Singh (Constituency – Begusarai, Bihar)
Minister of State – Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency – Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh), Faggan Singh Kulaste (Constituency – Mandla, Madhya Pradesh)