PMGSY triggered structural transformation in rural India: World Bank draft report

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has improved mobility and increased access to economic opportunities, triggering a structural transformation in rural India, a World Bank draft report says.

Titled ‘Impact Evaluation of PMGSY’, the draft report reviewed by Hindustan Times presents the results of an impact evaluation of the rural roads scheme using data from Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan collected in 2009 and 2017.

“The programme seeks to establish farm-to-market connectivity by providing access to all-weather roads to about 178,000 habitations across India. By 2018, it had built more than 550,000 km of rural roads, connecting more than 141,000 habitations, at a cost of $37 billion,” draft report says.

Only 19,000 habitations out of 178,840 habitations are left to be connected, according to latest rural development ministry data. Work for only 85 habitations is left to be sanctioned.

“In the previous financial year, we connected about 11,412 habitations. This year, so far we have connected about 1,654 habitations, though because of the rains we only got two months of working days so far,” a senior rural development ministry official said requesting anonymity.

The report states that there has been an increase in employment as a result of PMGSY roads.

“The employment rate increased by 5.5 percentage points between 2009 and 2017 in habitations connected after 2009, thanks to PMGSY roads. The increase represents a 9.5 percent change relative to the mean in 2009 in habitations that were unconnected at that time,” it says.

“The PMGSY generated 138.32 crore man days of employment from 2012 to 2017 under the 12th Five Year Plan, while we have envisaged 75 crore man days employment from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, we generate about 235 crore person days employment each year ,” a second ministry official said.

It also states that women stepped in to take care of the farm after road connectivity was improved.

This was the main force behind the 5.5 % increase in employment in connected habitations.

“A study conducted a couple of years back assessing the economic impact created when a road connects a village to a market had found that the economic impact was 25 times the investment made on the road within a very short period. There is no denying the fact that this programme is giving significantly large amounts of economic benefits to the country,” said Kushal Singh, partner, Deloitte India.

[ Oct 08, 2018]