Shimla, October 3
About 25 per cent of 18,711 villages are not connected with roads while 20 per cent of the villages do not have all-weather road connectivity, said Om Prakash Bhuraita, Director, HP State Resource Centre, Shimla.
He said this at a special lecture-cum-interaction on ‘Rural Roads in Himachal Pradesh: Challenges and way forward’. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Himachal Pradesh University, organised the event. As many as 61 participants attended the lecture.
Bhuraita said the road connectivity had increased from 39 per cent in 1983 to 75 per cent in 2021 with funds under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana’. However, 3,484 habitations with less than 250 population in the 2011 Census could not be covered under the scheme.
Poor road connectivity and low quality of roads were major causes of accidents.
Baldev Singh Negi, faculty, Rural Development at the HPU, said it was identified in the discussion that the state needs a rural link road policy, simplified forest clearance process, more funds, roads suitable for Himalayan terrain and greater focus on quality and maintenance to improve the quality of rural roads and better connectivity.
Randhir Singh Ranta said such interactions were important to provide practical exposure to students of MBA for becoming good rural development professionals.
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