Cabinet approves construction of more than 32,000 km of roads in LWE affected areas


New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the proposals of the Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Development to continue the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-I and II till September 2022.

According to reports, approval was given to complete the remaining road and bridge work. The CCEA also approved the continuation of the Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (RCPLWEA) till March 2023.

The cabinet has approved the construction of 32,152 km of roads in remote areas of the country at a cost of Rs 33,822 crore.

β€œThe areas not covered for road connectivity under Phase 1-2 of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) or Left Wing Extremism affected areas and tribal areas are going to benefit. Roads will be built through dense forests, mountains and rivers,” Union Minister Anurag Thakur said while briefing the media after the cabinet meeting.

Under PMGSY-II, upgradation of 50,000 km of rural road network was envisaged. A total of 49,885 km of road length and 765 LSBs have been sanctioned, out of which only 4,240 km of road length and 254 bridges are to be constructed.

An official release from the Center informed that most of the pending works under PMGSY-I and II are in the north-east and hill states due to factors like coronavirus-induced lockdown, extended rains, winter, forest issues, etc.

The government also said that extension of time till September 2022 is being given to these states to help them complete the remaining works.

In addition, the cabinet has also approved telecom connectivity in tribal areas by installing telecom towers in 7,287 villages in five states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.

With this, 42 aspirational districts of these five states will benefit from telecom connectivity, Thakur said, adding that the government has decided to provide 4G mobile services in the districts with an estimated project cost of Rs 6,466 crore.