No money to cover even 'pot holes' on rural roads

No money to cover even
Highlights

A paltry sum of Rs 303.35 crore allocated to R&B Dept to strengthen and lay roads in country side Patan...

no2A paltry sum of Rs 303.35 crore allocated to R&B Dept to strengthen and lay roads in country side Patan Afzal Babu Hyderabad: Though 'Rural Roads' has the distinction of being the State's longest road network, the budget 2013 hardly gave much figures to add to the funds allocated. The Finance Minister allocated only about 10 per cent of the funds out of Rs 3,657 crore planned outlay for Roads and Buildings Department (R and B dept). State Rural Roads wing of the R and B Dept was allocated a meagre Rs 303.35 crore to strengthen rural road infrastructure. While, the state State roads 'wing' got Rs 778 crore. Rs 1,346 crore earmarked for AP Road Development Corporation (APRDC) and R and B (PPP) has been allocated Rs 400 crore in the budget presented by state Finance Minister A Ramanarayana Reddy on Monday. The officials of R and B department said that the longest length of the roads comes under the purview of Rural Road wing. The total length of rural roads covered and maintained by the wing is 21,186 km. The department has submitted proposals to allocate Rs 700 crore for the development of rural roads during budget exercise. It is proposed to connect all rural roads by laying black top road. But the government allocated only Rs 303 crore which is the same as allocated during the previous two budgets also. The officials said over 30 per cent of rural roads have not been developed and the proposals were not being accepted for the past five years by the government. Rural road network in Adilabad, Srikakulam, Vizianagram, Khammam and Anantapur districts are yet to be strengthened. Of the total Rs 303 crore budget, Rs 112 crore was allocated to construct and develop rural roads under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) and Rs 40 crore for the construction of roads under Remote Interior Area Development (RIAD). The remaining amount will be used to clear contractor's bills, they said. The officials pointed out that neglecting the development of rural road network will affect the livelihoods of rural people particularly the farming community, agriculture and allied sectors.
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