Rural Roads as Infrastructure for Economic Development
RURAL ROAD DEVELOPMENTIn present scenario, rural India continues to suffer from lack of sufficient basic infrastructureand finds it difficult to undertake activities that can accelerate the pace of economicdevelopment. In the absence of infrastructural facilities, there is lack of market access to ruralpopulation, and thus, limited livelihood opportunities, agricultural stagnation and aggravationof poverty levels. Absence of infrastructure also makes rural markets fragmented which ischaracterised by high cost of transaction and high information asymmetry. The need for thehour is a robust public-private partnership for developing rural infrastructure, and such a jointeffort between the government and the corporate shall open new business opportunities,both for the corporate as well as the rural populace.
Modal Shift Three quarters of India’s rural population, constituting the majority of India’s poor are not integrated into the National economy showing the need for better rural transport.Shift of 70% ofpassenger traffic
Status of Rural Roads & so....Reflects Socio-Economic situation of States
India has an extensive river system = 14,500 km of navigablewaterways. Despite, inland water transport plays only avery marginal role in the transport sector. Reason for this is poor infrastructure; waterways suffer from hazards such as shallow waters, narrow width of channels, bank erosion and inadequate navigational aids.
The public investment in rural infrastructure development has been on account of thefact that total government expenditure has been curtailed due the “structuraladjustment programmes” and also due to the low priority attached to ruralinfrastructure by most governments in developing countries
Relevant Rural Transportation Programmes PMGSY (Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program) providing new connectivity to about 180,000 habitations through the construction of about 372,000 km of roads, and upgrading 370,000 km of the existing core rural network.
• In 2008 the PMGSY had provided connectivity to 42,019 eligible habitations serving about 45 million rural people.
• Habitations with a population above 1000 are targeted to be connected by 2010 and habitations with a population of 500 by 2015.
• Roads provided by the PMGSY have become important to the rural population of India.
• They have also resulted in a spurt in house building in rural areas.
• It has already created employment opportunities to local people of around 460 million man days per year – though the majority of these jobs are in the informal sector.
Rural Roads Project• It supports the building of rural roads in the states of Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir.• There is a “transect walk” where representatives of local communities walk the stretch of the proposed road so that their concerns can be taken into account at the design stage.
Rural Roads Project• Further the project has helped lay down an environmental protection code and ongoing maintenance of roads is ensured through 5 year maintenance contracts
CONCLUSION• The government should attempt to mobilize private sector participation to bridge the resource gap and increase operational and managerial efficiency.
CONCLUSION• Involving the private sector more should also lead to greater public sector performance and accountability.
CONCLUSION• There is no industry linkage machinery to create demand-based-technology market for rural communities.
CONCLUSION• There is also an imbalance between strategies and management programmes.
CONCLUSION• A robust public private partnership for developing rural infrastructure is the need for the hour, and such a joint effort between the government and the corporate shall open new business opportunities both for the corporate, as well the rural populace.
By: Dr. Alqa Aziz Department of Commerce & Business Studies Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi – 110025, India Tel: 91-991-137-5144, E-mail: email@example.com & Ar. Iram AzizDelhi Development Authority (Vikas Minar), Vikas Marg, Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi – 110002, India Tel: 91-999-034-9357, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org