The ministry of rural development (MoRD) wrote to the Bengal government on Thursday that the Centre has cleared the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-III project proposal of Rs 584.9 crore for the construction of 857.3 km of roads.
The Centre will bear Rs 343.2 crore and the state’s share will be Rs 241.7 crore. Earlier, the state and the Centre had locked horns over the nomenclature of the project.
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly written to the PM for the release of funds as rural roads could not be laid and also about the Centre not paying MGNREGS wages since January, for which poor workers under the 100-day scheme could not be paid. Even this week, the CM highlighted how the Centre was cornering Bengal by not releasing funds due for rural welfare projects.
Rural polls are likely to be held in early 2023.
“The state government shall ensure that the official name of the scheme and its logo is displayed in citizen & public information boards throughout the state as per guidelines issued by the MoRD. The state shall scrupulously follow the guidelines issued by MoRD regarding involvement of MPs and elected representatives for foundation laying and inauguration ceremonies of PMGSY works,” the letter from Delhi said.
The average cost of laying the road per km is Rs 68.2 lakh, the letter mentioned.
However, there is a clause for clearance as the state government will upload design stage road safety audit reports of all the roads proposed more than 5 km long on the website before tendering. Moreover, the state government has to ensure that the payment for cement concrete roads is made only after verification of target strength is achieved after 28 days, following the MoRD specifications. It also suggested that the state government shall ensure the installation of a GPS system in key machinery and equipment engaged during the execution of road works under PMGSY-III. The MoRD wanted the works to commence in 72 days from the date of sanction.