DISTRICT RURAL ROAD PLANNING

INTRODUCTION

Rural Connectivity is a key component of Rural Development in India. Rural roads contribute significantly to generating increased agricultural incomes and productive employment opportunities, alongside promoting access to economic and social services. Rural Roads are the virtual lifelines for the vast multitude residing in rural areas. However, even today, only about 60% of villages/ Habitations in the country are connected by roads.

Keeping in view the socio-economic benefits accruing from providing road connectivity to the villages, there is a need to impart greater thrust to providing road connectivity. Government of India have launched the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) on 25th December, 2000, with the objective of providing Road Connectivity through good All-weather roads to all unconnected Habitations having a population of more than 1000 persons by the year 2003 and those with a population of more than 500 persons by the end of the Tenth Plan Period (2007).

Guidelines of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana stipulate that District Master Plans would be prepared. Most of the States have already started the process. The main purpose of this Manual, is to assist the States in preparation of District level Master Plan for Rural Roads called the District Rural Roads Plan. This Manual is intended to facilitate collection and collation of various types of information required for preparation of Master Plans at the Block/ District levels and its vetting at the State level. It is also intended to bring about a basic uniformity of approach and transparency in the Planning process for the roads to be developed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

 

Chapter 1

PRADHAN MANTRI GRAM SADAK YOJANA

1. Objectives

1.1 The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana seeks to provide Road Connectivity, through good All-weather roads, to all Rural Habitations with a population of more than 500 persons by the year 2007 (end of Tenth Plan period). In the process, all unconnected Habitations having a population of more than 1000 persons would be covered in the next three years. Where a State has no uncovered Habitation of this population size, smaller Habitations may also be covered, subject to the minimum population size being 500. In case of hilly/desert tracts, this may not be less than 250.

1.2 The PMGSY covers only ‘Other District Roads’ (ODRs) and ‘Village Roads’ (VRs). Urban roads are excluded from the purview of this Programme.

Focus of PMGSY

1.3 Under the PMGSY, the primary focus of the Programme will be on providing connectivity to Unconnected Habitations in a District. Priority would be accorded to providing road connectivity, by means of All-weather roads of desired specifications, to Unconnected Habitations having a population of 1000 persons or more (according to 2001 Census).However, if there are no such Unconnected Habitation, then Unconnected Habitation with population between 500-999 persons can be taken up under the Programme. In all cases, preference should be given to Habitations having large Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe population.The District will be the unit for determining the presence or absence of Habitations of the targeted population size.

1.4 The objective under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana is that every Habitation (of the designated population size) should have one All-weather road connectivity. It follows that if a Habitation is already connected to another Habitation or an All-weather road by way of an All-weather road, then this Habitation can not be taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. In other words, already connected habitations can not be provided with more roads under the Programme unless all Unconnected Habitations with population above 500 persons have been provided connectivity in the District.

1.5 The emphasis under PMGSY is to provide New Connectivity to Unconnected Habitations. If there are no Unconnected Habitation in the District (of the stipulated population criterion), Upgradation (to prescribed standards) of existing roads can be permitted to be taken up under the Programme. In taking up road-works relating to Upgradation, the population norms indicated in Para 1.1 above shall be observed. Priority would be accorded to Habitations of 1000 persons or more which are presently connected by All-weather Gravel roads and require to be upgraded to desired specifications. In case, no such roads are available, then Habitations connected by All-weather Gravel roads and having population between 500-999 persons can be taken up. Only thereafter, can Habitations connected by WBM roads can be taken up for Upgradation under the Programme as per the population norms.

1.6 Therefore, the priority, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, would be provided to Unconnected Habitations. Only after all Unconnected Habitations in the District have been covered, the Upgradation of roads in already connected Habitations can be taken up. In these cases also, priority would be accorded to Habitations connected by Gravel Roads. The order of priority to be followed under the PMGSY is explained below in Table 1.

Table 1

S.N.

Population size

Category

1

1000 or more

Unconnected to roads of desired specification

2

500-999

Unconnected to roads of desired specification

3

1000 or more

Gravel to desired specification

4

500 –999

Gravel to desired specification

5

1000 or more

WBM to desired specification

6

500-999

WBM to desired specification

1.7 The Rural Roads to be taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana will, by an large be All-weather surfaced roads, i.e. roads with a bituminous or cement concrete surfacing , or WBM with surface dressing. However, the choice of surface of Rural Roads (Cement-concrete, Black-Topped, WBM with surface dressing, Gravel) would be determined, inter alia, by factors like traffic density, soil type and rainfall. Separate Guidelines will be issued regarding the Design and Specifications of the Rural Roads.

1.8 The objective under PMGSY is to provide connectivity to a Habitation or another All-weather road in such a manner as to provide the most economic and efficient road connectivity to the Unconnected Habitation. In other words, choice of alignment will be determined by the Utility Value of the Habitation/ Road that a Habitation is proposed to be connected to. (Please see Paras 2.28 to 2.31) .

1.9 To sum up, it should be noted that-

1.10 Before proceeding ahead, it would be better to have a clear understanding of the terms commonly used such as Road Networks, All-weather roads, Classification of roads into National Highways, State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads, Village Roads etc.

Definitions

1.11 A Road Network in a Block or District comprises of all categories of roads, such as National Highways, State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads and Village roads, which facilitate the essential movement of persons and goods in an area.

1.12 The Road system in India has been classified by the Indian Roads Congress into three categories. These are as follows:

    1. Primary Road System- Expressways and National Highways (NH)
    2. Secondary Road System- State Highways (SH) and Major District Roads (MDR)
    3. Tertiary System or Rural Roads- Other District Roads (ODR) and Village Roads (VR)

1.13 Expressways are through routes carrying very high volume of traffic having superior type facilities, with a divided carriageway, controlled access, grade separations at cross roads and fencing permitting only fast moving vehicles.

1.14 National Highways (NH): These are main highways running through the length and breadth of the country, connecting to major ports, foreign highways and capitals of States/ Union territories and large industrial and tourist centres, and including roads required for strategic movements for the defence of the country.

1.15 State Highways (SH): These are arterial roads of a State linking district headquarters and important cities within the State and connecting them with National Highways or Highways of the neighbouring States.

1.16 Major District Roads (MDR):These are important roads within a district, serving areas of production and markets and connecting these with each other or with the main Highways.

1.17 Other District Roads (ODR): These are roads serving rural areas of production and providing them with outlet to market centres, taluka (tehsil) headquarters, block development headquarters or other main roads.

1.18 Village Roads (VR):These are roads connecting villages/Habitation or groups of Habitation with each other and to the nearest road of a higher category.

1.19 Paved Road (PR):A road provided with a hard pavement course, which should be at least a water-bound-macadam layer. A paved road need not necessarily be surfaced or black-topped.

1.20 Unpaved Road (UPR):A road not having a hard pavement course (which should be at least a water-bound-macadam layer). Thus, earthen road and gravel road will be unpaved roads.

1.21 Black-Topped Road (BTR):A road provided with a bituminous surfacing.

1.22 Gravel Road (GR):A road constructed using well compacted crushed rock or gravel material, which is fairly resilient and does not become slippery when wet.

1.23 Water Bound Macadam (WBM):This is the road layer made of crushed or broken aggregate mechanically interlocked by rolling and the voids filled with screening and binding material with the assistance of water.

1.24 All-weather road: An all-weather road is one which is negotiable during all weathers, except at major river crossings. This implies that the road-bed is drained effectively by adequate cross-drainage structures such as culverts, minor bridges and causeways. Interruptions to traffic as per permitted frequency and duration are, however, allowed. The pavement should be negotiable during all-weathers, but this does not necessarily imply that it should be paved or surfaced or black-topped.

1.25 Habitation: A Habitation is a cluster of population, living in an area, the location of which does not change over time. Desam, Dhanis, Tolas, Majras, hamlets etc. are commonly used terminology to describe the Habitations. A Revenue village/ Gram Panchayat may comprise of several Habitations.

1.26 Unconnected Habitation: For the purpose of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, an Unconnected Habitation is one with a population of more than 500 persons and located at a distance of at least 500 metres or more from an All-weather road or a connected village/Habitation.

1.27 New Connectivity: For the purpose of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana , New Connectivity implies construction of roads on the existing alignments from earth-work stage.

1.28 Upgradation: Upgradation implies improvement of the unsurfaced roads to surfaced roads. This does not include repair or renewal of existing surfaced roads.