New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Road construction in rural areas of the country under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ (PMGSY) has achieved the highest so far average with daily construction rate of 130 km, it was announced on Wednesday.
The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors, including roads, railways, airports, ports, digital and coal.
The fast road construction speed has led to an addition of 47,400 km of PMGSY roads during 2016-17, which have resulted in 11,641 additional habitations being connected with roads during this period, an official statement said.
Over 4,000 km of rural roads have been constructed using green technology. The use of non-conventional materials such as waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly ash, iron and copper slag is being pushed aggressively, it added.
According to it, the Prime Minister also directed “efficient and stringent” monitoring of rural roads construction and their quality. For this, he emphasised the use of space technology in addition to the technologies already being used, such as the ‘Meri Sadak’ mobile phone app.
He also called for expeditious completion of vital links which will connect the remaining unconnected habitations at the earliest.
Modi, it said, directed the use of new technologies in road construction and asked NITI Aayog to examine global standards in the application of technology for infrastructure creation, and their feasibility in India.
In the highways sector, over 26,000 km of four- or six-lane National Highways have been built during the 2016-17 financial year, and the pace is improving, it added.
Similarly, in the railways sector, 953 km of new lines were laid in 2016-17, as against the target of 400 km.
Track electrification of over 2,000 km, and gauge conversion of over 1,000 km was achieved in the same period.
Also, over 1,500 unmanned level crossings have been eliminated in 2016-17. Among measures to enhance customer experience, Wi-Fi access was enabled in 115 railway stations, and 34,000 bio-toilets added.
In a broad overview of the progress in the roads and railways sectors, Modi called for a consolidated approach to existing projects, and working towards their completion within strict timelines.
The review meeting, which lasted for about four-and-half hours, was attended by top officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, NITI Aayog and all infrastructure ministries of the government, the statement said.