Rural infrastructure in India New thrust areas

May 2006 | Comments Off on Rural infrastructure in India New thrust areas

Development of Infrastructure in rural areas is a thrust area to create values through engineering consultancy
Rural development may be defined as structural changes in the socio-economic situation to achieve improved living standard of low-income population residing in rural areas and making the process of their development self sustained. It includes economic development with close integration among various sections and sectors; and economic growth specifically directed to the rural poor. In fact, it requires area based development as well as beneficiary oriented programmes. That’s why rural development is one of the main and important tasks of development planning in India.

Development of rural areas is slow due to improper and inadequate provision of infrastructure with compare to urban areas. That’s why rural share in GDP is always less. The contribution of urban and rural shares of GDP can be illustrated in table 1.

During 1990-91, the urban sector contribution in per capita GDP was 3.62 times more than the rural sector. The planning and development of human settlements and provision of required infrastructure are much better in urban areas. Rural population migrates near by Primate City due to more employment opportunities and better facilities. Similarly, the limited capacity of rural economy to accommodate the increasing population disregards the labour force as surplus to migrate large cities. Thus there is a need to encourage reverse migration to rural areas through proper development of rural infrastructure and basic amenities by creation of income generation avenues, improving the quality of life, etc.


Rural infrastructure : New thrust areas

Rural infrastructure is not only a key component of rural development but also an important ingredient in ensuring any sustainable poverty reduction programme. The proper development of infrastructure in rural areas improves rural economy and quality of life. It promotes better productivity, increased agricultural incomes, adequate employment, etc.

Bharat Nirman

The UPA Government has launched “ Bharat Nirman” time boundbusiness plan for action in rural infrastructure for next four years. Under Bharat Nirman, action is proposed in the following areas:

• Irrigation

• Rural Roads

• Rural Housing

• Rural Water Supply

• Rural Electrifi cation

• Rural Telecommunication Connectivity, etc.

Bharat Nirman

The Task Ahead: The following bold targets are set to be achieved by 2009:

i. To connect 66,800 habitations with population over 1000(over 500 in hill, tribal and desert areas) with all weather roads.

ii. To construct 1,46,000Km of new rural roads

iii. To upgrade and modernize 1,94,000Km of existing rural roads

iv. Out of total investment of Rs. 1,74,000 crore envisaged under Bharat Nirman, investment on rural roads estimated at Rs. 48,000 crore.

The Government has also decided to provide corpus of Rs. 8000 crore to Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

Bharat Nirman through Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

Rural connectivity is one of the major goals of Bharat Nirman. In India, there are more than 6 lakh villages located in different terrains e.g. plain, hilly, deserts, swamps, costal region, mountainous region, back water areas, tribal pockets, etc. The climatic condition also varies from place to place to a great extent. Due to improper planning, some villages are having multi road connection while others are deprived of even single road connection.

In Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) has been decided to give one and only connection to each village. It is centrally sponsored programme with 100% financial assistance. All PMGSY roads are guaranteed defect free by the contractors for a period of 5 years and maintained by him under a contract. Funds for the maintenance contract are provided from the State Budget. After the period of 5 years, the roads will be transferred to the District Panchayat for further maintenance.

PMGSY achievements can be summerised as follows:

• 53,000 Km. of new rural roads constructed

• 27,000 Km. of rural roads upgraded and modernized

• 37,000 habitations provided all weather connectivity opening access for agricultural produce

• Rs. 15,117 crore invested up to January 2006

• Monitoring the quality of road works through independent technical experts at the state and national level.

Rural electrifi cation

Out of the estimated 80,000 villages yet to be electrified, the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007) proposes to electrify 62,000 villages through grid supply. The remaining 18,000 remote villages are proposed to be electrified by 2011-2012 through the use of decentralized non- conventional source of energy. The rural electrification programme has beenincluded as a component of Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana(PMGY) and is being encouraged to pool resources from other schemes under Minimum Need Programme (MNP) and Rural Infrastructure Development Fund(RIDF) to meet objective of 100 % electrifi cation.

A new scheme called Accelerated Rural Electrification Programme (AREP) has been launched. The participation of Decentralized Power Producers, PRIs, Rural Co-operatives, NGO, etc. will be encouraged. The Ministry of Power is pushing the concept of Rural Electricity Supply Companies (RESCOs) involving the private sector players by leasing out solar panel based light systems to village homes.

The development and implementation of various rural infrastructure projects help to create values for the rural society. Similarly, involvement of Public as well as Private companies, NGO, etc. require the technical and managerial experts of engineering consultancy in rural areas.

Bharat Nirman through Indira Awas Yojana

Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) targets rural families below poverty line who are either totally houseless or live in unserviceable kutcha houses. It is an effort to provide an identity and sense of security to rural poor households. Under the scheme, a maximum assistance of Rs. 25,000/- per house for plain areas and Rs. 27,500/- per house for hilly/difficult areas is given to BPL family to construct. Assistance is also provided for up gradation of kutcha houses @ Rs. 12,500/- per unit. . 60% of the houses are to be for SC/ST beneficiaries. Rural housing is one of the major goals of Bharat Nirman.The target of IAY in Bharat Nirman is as follows;

• To construct 60 lakh houses over the next 4 years( 2006-2010)

• Investment in Rural housing will be about Rs. 12, 000 crore

IAY: Achievements:

• Allocation for IAY has increasedfro Rs. 2750 crore( 2005-06) to Rs, 2920 crote( 2006-07).

• About 9.6 lakh houses have been constructed so far in current year( 2005-06).

• About 139 lakh houses have been constructed under IAY all over the country since inception of the scheme upto January 2006.

• An amount of Rs. 25,500 crores have been invested so far in IAY.

There is provision of free electricitry connection to be provided to IAY houses under Rajiv Ganghi Gram Vidutikaran Yojana.

Planned urbanization with rural ambiance

The formation of cluster of rural settlements, which acts as a viable planning unit, is linked to the nearest towns then receives the needed growth impulses and makes it-self integrated with the town economy. It emphasizes the importance of urban infrastructure in rural areas. Based on it, Planned Urbanization with Rural Ambiances (PURA), as propagated

by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the President of India, in his vision 2020, argues the following connectivity for the cluster of villages:

i. Physical Connectivity (roads, transport facilities, etc.)

ii. Economic Connectivity (Banks, Commercial organizations, etc.)

iii. Knowledge Connectivity (School, colleges, vocational education, etc.)

iv. Societal Connectivity (Hospital, recreational facilities, place of worship, etc) and

v. Electronic Connectivity (Phone, internet, cable, etc.)


The location of PURA would be in the vicinity of a growing city and having high potential of development such as availability of local resources, skills, adequate water & power, good connectivity to transport networks, potential for employment generation, goods market, etc.


Land Acquisition

PURA Development Agency (PDA) would be set up as a status of Development Authority with a mandate to perform municipal functions. PDA would adopt land pooling, partially pooling and partly acquisition, land acquisition, etc. to get land for the projects.

Plan Preparation

PDA would prepare Economic Plan, Structure Plan and Implementation Plan for the projects.

• Economic Plan: Identification of local resources and skills, key investors as anchors, ascertain industry ancilliarization / outsourcing, etc.

• Structure Plan: – Utility Infrastructure: Water Supply, Sewerage, Drainage, Low Cost Sanitation, Power, Transport, Solid Waste Management, etc. – Social Infrastructure: Health, Education, Community Halls, Parks, Play Grounds, etc. – Commercial Infrastructure: Shopping Centre, Markets, Theatres, Trade Centre, etc.

• Implementation Plan: PDA would prepare implementation plan to implement various provisions of PURA. The Chief Executive of PDA would be a professional on 5- year contract to supervise the works.

PURA would be a viable infrastructure project in rural areas since infrastructure is less expensive in rural areas and small towns than in large cities.

Rural development plans by the panchayat

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 has provision for the establishment of panchayat at village level. The Eleventh Schedule (Article 243-G) of the same has listed 29 items for consideration in development plans. Panchayats have power to prepare plans for economic and social development and implement schemes for such development in their respective are

Economic aspects in rural development plan

Various items as per Eleventh Schedule such as:

Item No. 1: Agricultural Productivity

Item No. 2: Land Improvement

Item No. 3: Minor Irrigation

Item No. 4: Animal Husbandry

Item No. 5: Fisheries

Item No. 7: Minor Forest Products, etc. are related to economic development of rural area and hence they should be incorporated in development plan.

Social aspects In rural development plan

These aim at welfare of the people,, provision of better education facilities, health services, recreational facilities, etc. and change in social attitudes of the people.

Item No. 10: Rural Housing

Item No. 11: Drinking Water

Item No. 14: Rural Electrification

Item No. 17: Education

Item No. 18: Technical and Vocational Education

Item No. 19: Adult and Nonformal Education

Item No. 24: Family Welfare

Item No. 25: Women and Child Development, etc. are mostly related to social development of the rural areas and should be a part of development plan.

Spatial aspects in rural development plan

The development of rural area basically depends on location of various economic and social activities, their integration and proper linkages within and outside the areas. Similarly, anticipated development activities, set up of organizational framework at different level, etc. also affect the size of existing settlements, emergence of new settlements and overall development of the area. Item No. 13 (Transport and Communication), Item No. 8 (Small Scale IndustriItem No. 9 (Village and Cotton Industry), etc. decides the location of various functional units. Hence, development plan of any rural area need to take care of all these aspects for proper and balanced development.

It is mandatory for State Government to constitute District Planning Committees (DPCs) to consolidate plans prepared by panchayats and municipalities. The preparation of development plans certainly requires engineering consultancy to create values. Engineering consultancy explore the potential of the districts, priority of various plans and schemes, fi nancial details, environmental sustainability, viability of the

projects, etc. for achieving integrated planning and development of rural and urban areas of the district.

Rural building centres and industrial extension services

The then Ministry of Urban Development and Employment, Government of India, initiated building center movement in 1988 has spread out with establishment of more than 650 building centers in the country. The scheme has been implemented through HUDCO with the following objectives:

• Technology transfer from lab to land by disseminating of information on Cost Effective and Environment Friendly (CEEF) construction in rural and urban areas

• Skill up gradation of work force.

• Creating a pool of trained rural / urban construction work force for construction industries and building activities.

Rural Building Centres (RBCs) may be established in rural areas having

the same goals and objectives. The engineering consultancy can play important role to create values in these areas. The active participation of Government and Non-Governmental Organizations through RBCs can prepare and implement infrastructure projects. Rural consultancy and synergy with various government departments and agencies at district level can integrate various development projects.

Industrial Extension service aims at providing complete technical, economic and managerial consultancy services in small scale and cottage industries. The industrial extension service is provided through Small Industries Service Institutions (SISIs) which are State level agencies. The same my be located in different parts of rural areas to assist and supervise the minor and major infrastructure projects and serve as common service facilities centers.

Concluding remarks

Development of Infrastructure in rural areas is a thrust area to create values through engineering consultancy. Engineering consultancy can provide technical, managerial and on-site consultancy from conceptualization to fi nal implementation of the projects. Various infrastructure projects under Bharat Nirman have become lifeline to new markets, new business, new incomes, and above all, to new opportunities. Even a narrow road can be a highway to prosperity. Similarly each infrastructure project has its own advantages particularly rural connectivity Yojana ensure that every village in India has access to markets, to services, to opportunities, indeed, to prosperity.

PURA would be considered as a model for infrastructure development in rural area for developing modern habitat having high quality water supply and sanitation, full range of connectivity, provision for future expansion, etc. PDA would encourage establishment of employment generating industries such as herbal, diary, poultry, meat processing and animal husbandry, food processing, etc. In connection with preparation of Draft District Development Plan, DPC shall have regard to matters of common interest between panchayats and municipalities including spatial planning, sharing of physical and natural resources, development of infrastrcutre and conservation of environment, etc. Similarly, DPC may also co-ordinate various schmes and programme at district level such as Minimum Needs Programme (MNP), Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), Rural Landless Employment Generation Programme (RLEGP), Jawahar Rojgar Yojana (JRY), Drought Prone Area Development Programme, etc. to derive maximum benefits for rural development.The emphasis on establishment of rural building centers and small industries service institutions in various parts of rural area by the Government may help to cater engineering consultancy to create values for rural India.

Pawan Kumar

(Asstt. T & CP) Town & Country Planning Organization,
Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India, New
Delhi, India
My coordinates
Mark your calendar
May 09 TO DECEMBER 2009

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