Rural road construction shifts course after 8 years.

In the first three months of this year, a government initiative called Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) did something remarkable. He built far more rural roads than he planned – 6,403 kilometers instead of the target of 6,000 kilometers. This is the first time in eight years that he has exceeded his target. The government wanted to invest more in building roads to boost the economy.

To put this in perspective, the last time they did this well in the first quarter was in 2015 when they built 10,726 km of roads, far exceeding their target of 5,200 km.

Unfortunately, the PMGSY program has been performing poorly for some time. In the past, it often fell short of its target. For example, in 2019, they managed to build only 1,235 km of roads out of the target of 13,123 km.

The government keeps a close eye on 65 different things and the National Statistical Office (NSO) keeps an eye on the progress. When programs like PMGSY achieve less than 80 percent of their targets, it is considered poor performance. On the other hand, if they exceed 90 percent of their target, it is considered very good.

Apart from building roads, villagers are also doing very good work in other areas like providing electricity, running Anganwadi and food security. However, rural housing, self-help groups and plantations are not performing so well.

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