NEW DELHI: Roads are primary to any development agenda. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), since its inception in 2000, has been able to provide connectivity to 1,52,124 habitations (85.37% against 1,78,184 eligible habitations).
Sensing the importance and urgency of rural roads for national development the target date for completion of PMGSY-I has been preponed from 2022 to 2019. Working towards this accelerated target, sanctions have been given to 1,66,012 habitations (93%) against the target of 1,78,184 eligible habitations.
PMGSY through its all-weather roads has contributed this key ingredient of development to 11,499 new unconnected habitations for the first time in 2017-18.
Less than 1% eligible habitations remain to be sanctioned for new connectivity under PMGSY, remaining 6% habitations are either not-feasible or sanctioned by the States from their own resources.
Connectivity has been provided to 1,52,124 habitations (including 16,380 habitations connected by the States).
In addition, 2109 habitations of 100 to 249 population have been connected. Under the program, 5,50,533 km of road length has been constructed.
This centrally sponsored programme implemented in partnership with the state governments has seen a greater focus and consistent improvement in pace and quality in the last three years.
The pace of construction of PMGSY roads reached an 8 year high of 134 km per day in 2017-18 as against an average of 73 km during the period 2011 to 2014.
A total of 48,751 km of PMGSY roads, connecting 11,499 eligible habitations have been constructed in 2017-18 at an average rate of 134 km per day.
Year-wise progress is as under:
|Year||Length constructed||Rate of construction per day (km)|
PMGSY II was launched in 2012-13, so far, 13 states have moved to stage II of the programme. As against a target of 50,000 km, 32,024 km has been sanctioned and 17,705 km road length has been upgraded. Other states are likely to move to PMGSY II in FY 2018-19.
Cabinet has approved a special project for Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremist Areas (RCPLWE) in December 2016. Out of 340 roads of 5,411.81 km and 126 bridges approved by the Cabinet 268 roads of 4,134.69 km and 181 bridges were also sanctioned in 2017-18.
Works in these areas are likely to be completed by 2020. This is over and above the special provision for 100-249 population villages in 267 LWE Blocks, where work is likely to be completed by 2020.
Improving Roads, Improving Lives:
PMGSY not only strives to build roads but good quality roads. The inbuilt framework of Quality Management mechanism in PMGSY is a combination of in-house quality control measures and independent verification at state and national levels. 39,811 inspections by State Quality Monitors (SQMs) and 9,204 inspections by National Quality Monitors (NQMs) at the National level were done in 2017-18. This intensified Monitoring has impacted Quality grading positively; 13.98% completed roads were graded as unsatisfactory in 2013-14, the quality of roads has improved substantially, in 2017-18 with 7.46% completed roads graded as unsatisfactory. Rectifications are carried on these roads after the inspections to remove all inconsistencies.
As a measure of Transparency and Accountability, the scheme has put in place a Citizen Feedback system through the MeriSadak App.
In addition to Hindi and English, the App is available in 10 regional languages also. This provides a direct interface with the citizens and this G2C platform enables citizens to provide real-time feedback on the implementation of the PMGSY programme. Out of 25,414, complaints/feedback related to PMGSY, final replies have been sent in 24,791(97%) cases.
New Technology; Green Roads:
Use of non-conventional, locally available construction materials (waste plastic, cold mix, fly ash, jute and coir geo-textiles, iron and copper slag, cell-filled concrete, panelled cement concrete etc.) and “Green Technologies” have been encouraged for climate resilient roads in PMGSY.
There has been wide acceptability of these technologies. In the last few years, 33,888 km of road length has been sanctioned and 17,785 km of road length has been constructed.
During the financial year 2017-18, a record length of 6,313 kms has been constructed using green technologies. Rajasthan, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand are using this in building green PMGSY roads.
Key Priorities for PMGSY for the Financial Year 2018-19:
All eligible habitations under PMGSY-I are targeted to be completed by March 2019. Accordingly, Ministry has set a target of construction of 61,000 kms road length by providing connectivity to 19,725 habitations during the financial year 2018-19.
Similarly, a target of about 12,000 kms has been set for construction of roads using green technologies. During the financial year 2018-19, about 8,670 inspections of National Quality Monitors and 35,630 inspections of State Quality Monitors are targeted to be completed.
Community Contracting initiative in Rural Roads:
Maintenance of roads assets created under PMGSY is a big focus for the Ministry and through various advocacy workshops etc Rural Road Maintenance policies have been framed for 23 States. Maintenance software eMarg used in MP will be replicated in all states to streamline maintenance systems of rural roads.
A pilot was initiated by the Ministry to involve SHGs in roads maintenance. Uttarakhand Rural Roads Development Agency (URRDA) under the guidance of National Rural Roads Development Agency (NRRDA) initiated Community Contracting for “Off-Carriageway Maintenance” in rural roads through the registered all Women Mahila Mangal Dal (MMD).
Community contracting for roads maintenance is not only used as a tool for empowerment of women, it also empowers the community to maintain roads especially in hilly terrains. This model has been successfully tried in Badwani District of MP as well.
Use of IT:
Satellite imagery is being used to verify the completion of road length being reported by States on the programme software i.e. OMMAS as well as to verify habitation connectivity.
The work of GIS has commenced in all the Districts in the 28 States and GIS has been completed in 19 States.
Further use of geo spatial technology for mapping rural roads built under PMGSY are being geo mapped using remote sensing technology, through NRSC and CGARD –NIRD.
Diu Smart City Becomes First to Run on 100% Renewable Energy During Daytime
Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year.
DIU (UT): Diu Smart City has become the first city in India that runs on 100% renewable energy during the daytime, thereby setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green.
Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. It has now adopted a two-pronged approach whereby a 9 MW solar park spread over 50 hectares rocky barren land has been developed besides installing solar panels on the rooftops on 79 government buildings thereby generating 1.3 MW annually.
To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu offers its residents a subsidy of Rs 10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5KW rooftop solar panels.
Diu is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been cut in the residential category by 10% last year and 15% this year.
Other ‘Smart’ Activities in India:
To improve traffic management in Bengaluru Smart City, a prototype of an intelligent traffic management solution is currently being tested in collaboration with the Electronics City Township Authority (ELCITA).
It will provide traffic information that is currently unavailable, and help improve management of commuter traffic. It involves capturing video streams from several cameras and processing them using artificial intelligence so that typical traffic management tasks such as vehicle detection, traffic density estimation and control of traffic lights can be automated for real-time performance.
To revitalise urban public spaces and socially activating the area beside generating economic activity, Jaipur Smart City Ltd (JSCL) has planned to develop night bazaar at Chaura Rasta, in the heart of the Pink city.
The JSCL would register up to 700 vendors who will be allowed to set up stalls, including eateries, between 9 pm and 1 am. The project will provide entertainment, culture and shopping to citizens after office hours.
President Gives Nod to Ordinance for Death Penalty for Rapists of Children Below 12
There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
NEW DELHI: President ram Nath Kovind promulgated The Criminal Law amendment ordinance, 2018 to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to pave way for a death penalty to those found guilty of raping children up to the age of 12 years.
The President’s nod to the ordinance came after the Union Cabinet’s approval yesterday for tightening the law against people involved in rape, following public outcry over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao.
“Whereas Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.
Earlier, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 to introduce the death penalty for rape of children younger than 12 years.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
Several political leaders cutting across party lines hailed Centre’s move.
“Now, therefore, in an exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to promulgate the following ordinance,” the gazette notification said.
The ordinance stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 16 and 12 years.
The death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.
The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
According to the ordinance, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means jail term till the convicts “natural life”.
The punishment for gangrape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.
Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.
Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death, it said.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stand amended with the promulgation of the ordinance after the approval of the President.
The measure also provides for speedy investigation and trial.The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.
The deadline for the completion of a trial in all rape cases will be two months.
A six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.
There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
It has also been prescribed that a court has to give notice of 15 days to a public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.
Enhancing the powers of the judiciary to provide stringent punishment in rape cases, the Union Cabinet had approved a number of measures, such as strengthening the prosecution, besides setting up new fast-track courts in consultation with the states and high courts concerned, according to an official.
The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sexual offenders.
This data will be regularly shared with the states and the Union territories for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents of sex offenders by the police, the official said.
The present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to the victim will also be extended to all districts in the country.
DARPAN-PLI, App for Postal Life Insurance Launched
The hand-held devices will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.
NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App on April 17 in New Delhi.
The DARPAN-PLI App will help in collection of premium for postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.
Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said, these initiative will help Department of Posts in providing better after-sales service to customers, particularly those living in rural areas of the country.
He said, with a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, the department has launched Digital Advancement of Rural Post office for a new India (DARPAN) Project, which aims at connecting all one lakh 29 thousand Rural Branch Post Offices.
The Hand-held devices installed under DARPAN Project will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.
Customers in these areas can now avail the facility of online Core Banking, booking of Registered and Speed Post articles, booking of Money Orders, deposit of Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance premium through these hand-held devices.
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