Rural Development In India Construction Essay

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India is a country of villages and about 50% of the villages have very poor socio-economic conditions. Since the dawn of independence, concerted efforts have been made to ameliorate the living standard of rural masses. So, rural development is an integrated concept of growth and poverty elimination has been of paramount concern in all the consequent five year plans. Rural Development (RD) programmes comprise of following:

Provision of basic infrastructure facilities in the rural areas e.g. schools, health facilities, roads, drinking water, electrification etc.

Improving agricultural productivity in the rural areas.

Provision of social services like health and education for socio-economic development.

Implementing schemes for the promotion of rural industry increasing agriculture productivity, providing rural employment etc.

Assistance to individual families and Self Help Groups (SHG) living below poverty line by providing productive resources through credit and subsidy.

Rural employment schemes

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

Implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development - External website that opens in a new window, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) - External website that opens in a new window is the flagship programme of the Government that directly touches lives of the poor and promotes inclusive growth. The Act aims at enhancing livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojna

The Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) was launched on 25 September, 2001 by merging the on-going schemes of EAS and the JGSY with the objective of providing additional wage employment and food security, alongside creation of durable community assets in rural areas. The programme is self-targeting in nature with provisions for special emphasis on women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and parents of children withdrawn from hazardous occupations. While preference is given to BPL families for providing wage employment under SGRY, poor families above the poverty line can also be offered employment whenever NREGA has been launched.

The Gram Panchayats can take up any work with the approval of the gram sabha as per their felt need and within available funds. Fifty per cent of the funds earmarked for the gram panchayats are to be utilised for infrastructure development works in SC/ST localities. 22.5 per cent resources must be spent on individual beneficiary schemes meant for SCs/STs out of the resource share of District Panchayat and Intermediate Panchayats. Contractors are not permitted to be engaged for execution of any of the works and no middlemen/intermediate agencies can be engaged for executing works under the scheme. The programme is regularly monitored. The programme is being evaluated through impact studies conducted by reputed institutions and organisations sponsored by the Central/State governments.

National Food for Work Programme

The National Food for Work ProgrammeHYPERLINK "http://india.gov.in/outerwin.php?id=http://rural.nic.in/nffwpguidelines.htm" was launched in November, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country, identified by the Planning Commission in consultation with the Ministry of Rural Development and the State governments.

The objective of the programme was to provide additional resources apart from the resources available under the (SGRY)HYPERLINK "http://india.gov.in/outerwin.php?id=http://rural.nic.in/book01-02/ch-2.pdf" to 150 most backward districts of the country so that generation of supplementary wage employment and providing of food-security through creation of need based economic, social and community assets in these districts are further intensified. The scheme was 100 per cent centrally sponsored. The programme has since been subsumed in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which has come in force in 200 identified districts of the country including 150 NFFWP districts. The Act provides 100 days of work guarantee to every rural household whose members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Rural infrastructure development

Bharat Nirman

Bharat Nirman is a time-bound business plan for action in rural infrastructure. Under Bharat Nirman, action is proposed in the areas of irrigation, rural housing, rural water supply, rural electrification and rural telecommunication connectivity.

Rural Roads

To upgrade rural infrastructure, the Government has formulated a proposal for providing the road connections to more than 38,484 villages above 1000 population and all 20,867 habitations above 500 populations in hilly and tribal areas.

To achieve the targets of Bharat Nirman, 1,46,185 kms. of road length is proposed to be constructed by 2009. This will benefit 66,802 unconnected eligible habitations in the country. To ensure full farm to market connectivity, it is also proposed to upgrade 1,94,132 kms. of the existing Associated Through Routes. A sum of approximately Rs. 48,000 crore is proposed to be invested to achieve this.

The main thrust of research and development (R&D) in the roads sector is to build a sustainable road infrastructure comparable to the best roads in the world. The various components of this strategy are improvement in design, modernization of construction techniques, introduction of improved material conforming to latest trends, evolving better and appropriate specifications, encouraging development and use of new technologies etc. The dissemination of these matters is done through the publication of new guidelines, code of practices, instructions/circulars, compilation of state-of-the-art reports and seminars/presentations etc. The research schemes sponsored by the Department are generally 'applied' in nature, which, once completed, would enable them to be adopted by user agencies/departments in their work in the field. The areas covered are roads, road transport, bridges, traffic and transportation techniques etc. The Department takes the help of various research institutions, academic institutions and universities to implement the schemes. An outlay of Rs 600.00 lakhs has been provided for R&D in 2007-08. Some of the ongoing major schemes are as follows:

Roads:

Development of GIS based National Highways information system;

Guidelines for soil nailing techniques in highway engineering;

Pilot study on effect of overloading on road infrastructure; Investigation on field performance of bituminous mixes with modified binders;

Bridges:

Creation of complete range of independent testing facility at Central Road Research Institute (CRRI ), New Delhi.

Rural Housing

Housing is one of basic requirements for human survival. For a shelterless person, possession of a house brings about a profound social change in his existence, endowing him with an identity, thus integrating him with his immediate social milieu.

The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) with a view to providing financial assistance to the rural poor living below poverty line for construction of pucca house. The details of the scheme along with its performance are given below:

Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)

The Government of India is implementing Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) since the year 1985-86 to provide financial assistance for construction / upgradation of dwelling units to the below poverty line (BPL) rural households belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled Tribes and freed bonded labourers categories. From the year 1993-94, the scope of the scheme was extended to cover non-Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes rural BPL poor, subject to the condition that the benefits to non-SC/ST would not be more than 40% of the total IAY allocation. The benefits of the Scheme have also been extended to the families of ex-servicemen of the armed and paramilitary forces killed in action, 3% of the Houses are reserved for the rural Below Poverty Line physically and mentally challenged persons, from 2006-07 onward, funds and physical targets under IAY are also being earmarked for BPL minorities in each state.

Under the scheme, financial resources are shared between the centre and the states on a 75:25 basis. Since, reduction of shelterlessness is the primary objective, 75% weightage is given to housing shortage and 25% to the poverty ratios prescribed by Planning Commission for state level allocation. For district level allocation, 75% weightage is given again to housing shortage and 25% to SC/ST population of the concerned districts.

On the basis of allocations made and targets fixed, district Rural development Agency (DRDAs)/Zilla Parishada (ZPs) decide Panchayat-wise number of houses to be constructed under IAY and intimate the same to the concerned Gram Panchayat. Thereafter, the Gram Sabha selects the beneficiaries, restricting its number to the target allotted, from the list of eligible households from the Permanent IAY Waitlists. No further approval of the higher authority is required.

The ceiling on construction assistance under the IAY has been enhanced w.e.f. 1.4.2008, Rs. 25, 000/- to Rs. 35,000/- per unit in the plain areas and from Rs. 27,500/- to Rs. 38,500/- in hilly/difficult areas. For upgradation of kutcha house, the financial assistance has also been enhanced from Rs. 12,500/- to Rs. 15,000/- per unit. In addition, The Reserve Bank of India has been requested by the Ministry of Finance to include IAY houses under the Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) scheme for lending upto Rs. 20,000 per unit at an interest rate of 4%.

Further, the dwelling units should invariably be allotted in the name of a female member of the beneficiary household. Alternatively, it can be allotted in the name of both husband and wife. Only in case there is no eligible female member in the family, the house can be allotted in the name of an eligible male member.

The Sanitary latrine and smokeless chullah and proper drainage are required for each IAY house. Latrine could be constructed separate for the IAY house on the site of beneficiary.

The construction of the houses is the sole responsibility of the beneficiary. Engagement of contractors is strictly prohibited.

No specific type design has been stipulated for an IAY house. Choice of design, technology and materials for construction of an IAY house is the sole discretion of the beneficiaries.

About 181.51 lakh houses have been constructed under IAY since inception of the Scheme with an expenditure of Rs. 36900.41 crores (upto 31/5/2008).

Performance during the year 2007-08

During 2007-08, the Central allocation for Rural Houseing was Rs. 40,322.70 crore. The target for construction/upgradation of IAY houses was 21.27 lakh. Against this target, 19.88 lakh houses were constructed/upgraded by incurring an amount of Rs. 5,458.01 crores (including State share).

Performance during the year 2008-09

The Central allocation for 2008-09 under the IAY is Rs. 5,645.77 crore for the target of constructing/upgrading 21.27 lakh IAY houses. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 1,694.48 crore has been released as part of first instalment and 85,879 houses have been constructed so far, (upto 31/5/2008).

Irrigation

Under the Irrigation Component of Bharat Nirman, the target of creation of additional irrigation potential of 1 crore hectare in 4 years (2005-06 to 2008-09) is planned to be met largely through expeditious completion of identified ongoing major and medium irrigation projects. Irrigation potential of 42 lakh hectare is planned to be created by expeditiously completing such ongoing major and medium projects.

There is a definite gap between irrigation potential created and the potential utilized. Under Bharat Nirman it is planned to restore and utilize irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare through implementation of extension, renovation and modernization of schemes alongwith command area development and water management practices.

There are considerable areas in the country with unutilised ground water resources. Irrigation potential of 28 lakh hectare is planned to be created through ground water development.

The remaining target for creation of irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare is planned to be created by way of minor irrigation schemes using surface flow.

10 lakh hectare of irrigation potential is also planned by way of repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies and extension, renovation and modernization of minor irrigation schemes.

Telephone Connections

Telecom connectivity constitutes an important part of the effort to upgrade the rural infrastructure. Under the Bharat Nirman Programme, it will be ensured that 66,822 revenue villages in the country, which have not yet been provided with a Village Public Telephone (VPT), shall be covered. Out of the above villages, connectivity in 14,183 remote and far flung villages will be provided through digital satellite phone terminals. Assistance for both capital as well as operational expenditure for these VPTs will be met out of the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF).

Rural Water Supply

To build rural infrastructure, Bharat Nirman has been launched by the Government of India in 2005 to be implemented in a period of four years from 2005-06 to 2008-09. Rural drinking water is one of the six components of Bharat Nirman. During Bharat Nirman period, 55,067 un-covered and about 3.31 lakh slipped-back habitations are to be covered with provisions of drinking water facilities and 2.17 lakh quality-affected habitations are to be addressed for water quality problem.

While prioritising the addressal of the water quality problem, Arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations have been accorded priority followed by Iron, Salinity, Nitrate and other contaminants. To ensure that habitations once provided with drinking water supply infrastructure do not slip back and face drinking water problem, sustainability of drinking water sources and systems has been accorded high priority. To achieve drinking water security at village/ habitation level, conjunctive use of water i.e. judicious use of rainwater, surface water and ground water is promoted.

To enable the rural community shoulder the responsibility in management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems at village level, decentralized, demand-driven, community-managed approach in the form of Swajaldhara have been adopted. To further strengthen community participation in the drinking water sector for sustainability, National Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance programme has been launched in February, 2006 under which 5 persons in each Gram Panchayat are to be trained to carry out regular surveillance of drinking water sources for which 100% financial assistance including water testing kits, are provided.

Rural Electrification

Ministry of Power has introduced the scheme Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) in April 2005, which aims at providing electricity in all villages and habitations in four years and provides access to electricity to all rural households. This programme has been brought under the ambit of Bharat Nirman.

Under RGGVY, electricity distribution infrastructure is envisaged to establish Rural Electricity Distribution Backbone (REDB) with at least a 33/11KV sub-station, Village Electrification Infrastructure (VEI) with at least a Distribution Transformer in a village or hamlet, and standalone grids with generation where grid supply is not feasible.

This infrastructure would cater to the requirements of agriculture and other activities in rural areas including irrigation pump sets, small and medium industries, khadi and village industries, cold chains, healthcare and education and IT. This would facilitate overall rural development, employment generation and poverty alleviation.

Subsidy towards capital expenditure to the tune of 90% will be provided, through Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC), which is a nodal agency for implementation of the scheme. Electrification of un-electrified Below Poverty Line (BPL) households will be financed with 100% capital subsidy @ Rs.1500/- per connection in all rural habitations.

The Management of Rural Distribution is mandated through franchisees. The services of Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) are available to the States for assisting them in the execution of Rural Electrification projects.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) - External website that opens in a new window was launched on 25 December 2000 as a fully funded Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The primary objective of the PMGSY is to provide connectivity to all the eligible unconnected habitations of more than 500 persons in the rural areas (250 persons in the hilly and desert areas) by good quality all-weather roads.

Under Bharat Nirman, goal has been set to provide connectivity to all the habitations with population of more than 1000 in the plain areas and habitations with a population of 500 or more in hilly and tribal areas in a time-bound manner by 2009. The systematic upgradation of the existing rural road networks is also an integral component of the scheme. Accordingly, an Action Plan has been prepared for connecting 66,802 habitations with 1,46,185 km of all-weather roads. This Action Plan also envisages upgradation/renewal of 1,94,130 km of the existing rural road network. Subsequently, based on ground verification by States, 62,985 habitations were found eligible to be connected under the programme, out of which 3421 habitations have been connected under other schemes. Thus, the revised target is to connect 59,564 habitations. It is estimated that an investment of about Rs.48,000 crore would be required for achieving the targets under Bharat Nirman. The implementation strategy focuses on quality, cost management and 'on time' delivery.

Up to July, 2008, project proposals amounting to Rs. 81,717 crore have been approved against which a sum of Rs. 38,499 crore has been released for 86,146 roads covering a length of 3,31,736 km. Against these, 52,218 road works having road length of 1,75629 km have been completed with a cumulative expenditure of Rs. 35,295 crore.

Rural Housing

Housing is one of basic requirements for human survival. For a shelterless person, possession of a house brings about a profound social change in his existence, endowing him with an identity, thus integrating him with his immediate social milieu.

The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) with a view to providing financial assistance to the rural poor living below poverty line for construction of pucca house. The details of the scheme along with its performance are given below:

Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY)

The Government of India is implementing Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) since the year 1985-86 to provide financial assistance for construction / upgradation of dwelling units to the below poverty line (BPL) rural households belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled Tribes and freed bonded labourers categories. From the year 1993-94, the scope of the scheme was extended to cover non-Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes rural BPL poor, subject to the condition that the benefits to non-SC/ST would not be more than 40% of the total IAY allocation. The benefits of the Scheme have also been extended to the families of ex-servicemen of the armed and paramilitary forces killed in action, 3% of the Houses are reserved for the rural Below Poverty Line physically and mentally challenged persons, From 2006-07 onward, funds and physical targets under IAY are also being earmarked for BPL minorities in each state.

Under the scheme, financial resources are shared between the centre and the states on a 75 : 25 basis. Since, reduction of shelterlessness is the primary objective, 75% weightage is given to housing shortage and 25% to the poverty ratios prescribed by Planning Commission for state level allocation. For district level allocation, 75% weightage is given again to housing shortage and 25% to SC/ST population of the concerned districts.

On the basis of allocations made and targets fixed, district Rural development Agency (DRDAs)/Zilla Parishada (ZPs) decide Panchayat-wise number of houses to be constructed under IAY and intimate the same to the concerned Gram Panchayat. Thereafter, the Gram Sabha selects the beneficiaries, restricting its number to the target allotted, from the list of eligible households from the Permanent IAY Waitlists. No further approval of the higher authority is required.

The ceiling on construction assistance under the IAY has been enhanced w.e.f. 1.4.2008, Rs. 25, 000/- to Rs. 35,000/- per unit in the plain areas and from Rs. 27,500/ - to Rs. 38,500/- in hilly/difficult areas. For upgradation of kutcha house, the financial assistance has also been enhanced from Rs. 12,500/- to Rs. 15,000/- per unit. In addition, The Reserve Bank of India has been requested by the Ministry of Finance to include IAY houses under the Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) scheme for lending upto Rs. 20,000 per unit at an interest rate of 4%.

Further, the dwelling units should invariably be allotted in the name of a female member of the beneficiary household. Alternatively, it can be allotted in the name of both husband and wife. Only in case there is no eligible female member in the family, the house can be allotted in the name of an eligible male member.

The Sanitary latrine and smokeless chullah and proper drainage are required for each IAY house. Latrine could be constructed separate for the IAY house on the site of beneficiary.

The construction of the houses is the sole responsibility of the beneficiary. Engagement of contractors is strictly prohibited.

No specific type design has been stipulated for an IAY house. Choice of design, technology and materials for construction of an IAY house is the sole discretion of the beneficiaries.

About 181.51 lakh houses have been constructed under IAY since inception of the Scheme with an expenditure of Rs. 36900.41 crores (upto 31/5/2008)

Performance during the year 2007-08

During 2007-08, the Central allocation for Rural Housing was Rs. 40322.70 crore. The target for construction/upgradation of IAY houses was 21.27 lakh. Against this target, 19.88 lakh houses were constructed/upgraded by incurring an amount of Rs. 5458.01 crores (including State share).

Performance during the year 2008-09

The Central allocation for 2008-09 under the IAY is Rs. 56.45.77 crore for the target of constructing/upgrading 21.27 lakh IAY houses. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 1694.48 crore has been released as part of first installment and 85879 houses have been constructed so far, (upto 31/5/2008).

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on:05-05-2010

Eleventh plan (2007-2012)

The eleventh plan has the following objectives:

Income & Poverty

Accelerate GDP growth from 8% to 10% and then maintain at 10% in the 12th Plan in order to double per capita income by 2016-17

Increase agricultural GDP growth rate to 4% per year to ensure a broader spread of benefits

Create 70 million new work opportunities.

Reduce educated unemployment to below 5%.

Raise real wage rate of unskilled workers by 20 percent.

Reduce the headcount ratio of consumption poverty by 10 percentage points.

Education

Reduce dropout rates of children from elementary school from 52.2% in 2003-04 to 20% by 2011-12

Develop minimum standards of educational attainment in elementary school, and by regular testing monitor effectiveness of education to ensure quality

Increase literacy rate for persons of age 7 years or above to 85%

Lower gender gap in literacy to 10 percentage point

Increase the percentage of each cohort going to higher education from the present 10% to 15% by the end of the plan

Health

Reduce infant mortality rate to 28 and maternal mortality ratio to 1 per 1000 live births

Reduce Total Fertility Rate to 2.1

Provide clean drinking water for all by 2009 and ensure that there are no slip-backs

Reduce malnutrition among children of age group 0-3 to half its present level

Reduce anaemia among women and girls by 50% by the end of the plan

women and Children

Raise the sex ratio for age group 0-6 to 935 by 2011-12 and to 950 by 2016-17

Ensure that at least 33 percent of the direct and indirect beneficiaries of all government schemes are women and girl children

Ensure that all children enjoy a safe childhood, without any compulsion to work

Infrastructure

Ensure electricity connection to all villages and BPL households by 2009 and round-the-clock power.

Ensure all-weather road connection to all habitation with population 1000 and above (500 in hilly and tribal areas) by 2009, and ensure coverage of all significant habitation by 2015

Connect every village by telephone by November 2007 and provide broadband connectivity to all villages by 2012

Provide homestead sites to all by 2012 and step up the pace of house construction for rural poor to cover all the poor by 2016-17

Environment

Increase forest and tree cover by 5 percentage points.

Attain WHO standards of air quality in all major cities by 2011-12.

Treat all urban waste water by 2011-12 to clean river waters.

Increase energy efficiency by 20 percentage points by 2016-17.

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