CAG uncovers roads to nowhere [Governance]
- The performance audit report of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), has highlighted several irregularities, ranging from flouting of planning procedures, poor quality control, diversion of funds, extension of undue benefits to contractors, showing road connectivity where there is none, not providing roads to eligible habitations, and pathetic maintenance of roads.
- The PMGSY, a Centrally- sponsored scheme to build rural road connectivity, was launched in December 2000.
- The PMGSY aims to provide all-weather roads to all unconnected habitations in rural India with a population of 500 persons or above (in plains) and 250 persons or above (in hill States).
- According to the Rural Development Ministry, as of March 2015, out of 1.78 lakh eligible habitations, 1.09 lakh habitations had been provided with all-weather road connectivity.
- The Public Accounts Committee of the 14th Lok Sabha had recommended that, given the various quality control and monitoring deficiencies, social audit (as included in the MGNREGA scheme) be incorporated in the PMGSY. But the Rural Development Ministry is yet to include it in the programme guidelines.
- The total money spent under PMGSY until March 2015 was Rs1,25,517.9 crore. The top five recipients of funds under this program were Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, U.P. and Rajasthan, which together accounted for 50.26 per cent % of all expenditure across India up to March 2015.