Maintaining village roads

Infrastructure is of vital importance in rural areas

Maintaining village roads

A state that has seen unprecedented emphasis on road-building, aimed at decongesting the national capital and boosting connectivity to the adjoining states to spur the development process, can ill-afford to neglect the maintenance of infrastructure. File photo

The need to guard against the hazards of lopsided development is evident from the deplorable condition of the village road leading to Kharkara from Bhatsana village in Dharuhera block of Haryana’s Rewari district. A state that has seen unprecedented emphasis on road-building, aimed at decongesting the national capital and boosting connectivity to the adjoining states to spur the development process, can ill-afford to neglect the maintenance of infrastructure. While the Haryana Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the district authorities, the reason given for the problem — that the inundation of the road took place due to the release of water from a dam to improve the water table in the area —indicates that there was no adequate monitoring by the authorities concerned to avoid inconvenience to people.

The farmers’ agitation has seen the rural roads in Haryana being put to greater use to reach destinations by those commuting to and from Delhi. For the state government, the maintenance of village roads should be a priority. While user fee collection at the toll plazas might have been hit because of the stir, the state should generate additional resources and put to good use the market committee fee which was only recently hiked, along with the rural development fund cess. The upkeep of roads should also be a must after the rains. The lockdown saw the suspension of regular repair work. With the situation returning to normal, it should be resumed.

The Centre has formulated from time to time projects for the development of roads, not just the national and state highways, but also the village and other district roads. With nearly two-thirds of the roads in the country being village roads, their serviceability is important to ensure that the benefits of government schemes percolate down to the people for whom they are intended. The district administration should be accountable for ensuring coordination between the different wings of the government and fixing lapses.

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