YB WEB DESK. Dated: 10/24/2020 10:59:03 AM

KAMRAN KHAN Bhadarwah Oct 23 Miseries of 16,000 population residing in far off hilly slopes of Bhalla tehsil in Jammu and Kashmir’s additional district Bhadarwah are finally going to end because soon majority of them are going to get all weather connectivity before the onset of harsh winters as PMGSY starts blacktopping of 13 km long Bhalla - Shangro road. The decades of wait is finally going to end for thousands of Villagers of Bhalla, majority of them fruit growers, agriculturist with small holdings and daily wage labourers as PMGSY authorities have set a target to complete the laying of macadam on 13 km long Bhalla-Shangroo Road, connecting 2 dozen villages and several hamlets before 15 November. "The macadam on the said hilly road with a project cost of 1027 lakhs is being carried round the clock to meet the deadline of 15 November as after that it will become difficult to carry the work as temperature may drop below the required level," said Haris Jha JE PMGSY. "It is likely that we will be very close to achieving 100 per cent connectivity of the eligible habitations by December, 2020," he added. Although nearly 80 per cent of District Doda's population lives in rural areas, about 75 per cent of rural areas were not connected to all-weather roads, even after seven decades of Independence. Where they were connected, the road quality was not always of the best standards. With poor maintenance and earthen tracks, several rural roads became unsuitable for motorised traffic, especially during the monsoon months and winters. The credit for addressing this important, but muchneglected, problem goes to Union Government's funded PMGSY scheme. Villagers especially farmers and fruit growers are upbeat after seeing the work is being carried on a brisk pace and this time are hopeful that the road will be finally completed in stipulated time period. After lockdown restrictions were eased, road construction has been taken up with renewed vigour. The government has, over the last five years, spent more than ı80,000 crore on building and upgrading rural roads across the country, even as the PMGSY funding model has changed. For much of its history, PMGSY operated as a centrally sponsored scheme where the central government provided 100% of funding, with states only responsible for implementation.


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