Image via WikipediaBharat Nirman is a time-bound business plan for action in rural infrastructure. Under Bharat Nirman, action is proposed in the areas of irrigation, rural housing, rural water supply, rural electrification and rural telecommunication connectivity.
Rural RoadsTo upgrade rural infrastructure, the Government has formulated a proposal for providing the road connections to more than 38,484 villages above 1000 population and all 20,867 habitations above 500 populations in hilly and tribal areas.
To achieve the targets of Bharat Nirman, 1,46,185 kms. of road length is proposed to be constructed by 2009. This will benefit 66,802 unconnected eligible habitations in the country. To ensure full farm to market connectivity, it is also proposed to upgrade 1,94,132 kms. of the existing Associated Through Routes. A sum of approximately Rs. 48,000 crore is proposed to be invested to achieve this.
The main thrust of research and development (R&D) in the roads sector is to build a sustainable road infrastructure comparable to the best roads in the world. The various components of this strategy are improvement in design, modernization of construction techniques, introduction of improved material conforming to latest trends, evolving better and appropriate specifications, encouraging development and use of new technologies etc. The dissemination of these matters is done through the publication of new guidelines, code of practices, instructions/circulars, compilation of state-of-the-art reports and seminars/presentations etc. The research schemes sponsored by the Department are generally 'applied' in nature, which, once completed, would enable them to be adopted by user agencies/departments in their work in the field. The areas covered are roads, road transport, bridges, traffic and transportation techniques etc. The Department takes the help of various research institutions, academic institutions and universities to implement the schemes. An outlay of Rs 600.00 lakhs has been provided for R&D in 2007-08. Some of the ongoing major schemes are as follows:
- Development of GIS based National Highways information system;
- Guidelines for soil nailing techniques in highway engineering;
- Pilot study on effect of overloading on road infrastructure;
- Investigation on field performance of bituminous mixes with modified binders;
- R&D Studies on performance evaluation of rigid pavements on high density traffic corridors using instrumentation supported by laboratory tests.
- Creation of complete range of independent testing facility at Central Road Research Institute (CRRI ), New Delhi.
Rural HousingHousing is one of basic requirements for human survival. For a shelterless person, possession of a house brings about a profound social change in his existence, endowing him with an identity, thus integrating him with his immediate social milieu.
The Ministry of Rural Development is implementing Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) with a view to providing financial assistance to the rural poor living below poverty line for construction of pucca house. The details of the scheme along with its performance are given below:
Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)
The Government of India is implementing Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) since the year 1985-86 to provide financial assistance for construction / upgradation of dwelling units to the below poverty line (BPL) rural households belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled Tribes and freed bonded labourers categories. From the year 1993-94, the scope of the scheme was extended to cover non-Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes rural BPL poor, subject to the condition that the benefits to non-SC/ST would not be more than 40% of the total IAY allocation. The benefits of the Scheme have also been extended to the families of ex-servicemen of the armed and paramilitary forces killed in action, 3% of the Houses are reserved for the rural Below Poverty Line physically and mentally challenged persons, From 2006-07 onward, funds and physical targets under IAY are also being earmarked for BPL minorities in each state.
Under the scheme, financial resources are shared between the centre and the states on a 75 : 25 basis. Since, reduction of shelterlessness is the primary objective, 75% weightage is given to housing shortage and 25% to the poverty ratios prescribed by Planning Commission for state level allocation. For district level allocation, 75% weightage is given again to housing shortage and 25% to SC/ST population of the concerned districts.
On the basis of allocations made and targets fixed, district Rural development Agency (DRDAs)/Zilla Parishada (ZPs) decide Panchayat-wise number of houses to be constructed under IAY and intimate the same to the concerned Gram Panchayat. Thereafter, the Gram Sabha selects the beneficiaries, restricting its number to the target allotted, from the list of eligible households from the Permanent IAY Waitlists. No further approval of the higher authority is required.
The ceiling on construction assistance under the IAY has been enhanced w.e.f. 1.4.2008, Rs. 25, 000/- to Rs. 35,000/- per unit in the plain areas and from Rs. 27,500/- to Rs. 38,500/- in hilly/difficult areas. For upgradation of kutcha house, the financial assistance has also been enhanced from Rs. 12,500/- to Rs. 15,000/- per unit. In addition, The Reserve Bank of India has been requested by the Ministry of Finance to include IAY houses under the Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) scheme for lending upto Rs. 20,000 per unit at an interest rate of 4%.
Further, the dwelling units should invariably be allotted in the name of a female member of the beneficiary household. Alternatively, it can be allotted in the name of both husband and wife. Only in case there is no eligible female member in the family, the house can be allotted in the name of an eligible male member.
The Sanitary latrine and smokeless chullah and proper drainage are required for each IAY house. Latrine could be constructed separate for the IAY house on the site of beneficiary.
The construction of the houses is the sole responsibility of the beneficiary. Engagement of contractors is strictly prohibited.
No specific type design has been stipulated for an IAY house. Choice of design, technology and materials for construction of an IAY house is the sole discretion of the beneficiaries.
About 181.51 lakh houses have been constructed under IAY since inception of the Scheme with an expenditure of Rs. 36900.41 crores (upto 31/5/2008)
IrrigationUnder the Irrigation Component of Bharat Nirman, the target of creation of additional irrigation potential of 1 crore hectare in 4 years (2005-06 to 2008-09) is planned to be met largely through expeditious completion of identified ongoing major and medium irrigation projects. Irrigation potential of 42 lakh hectare is planned to be created by expeditiously completing such ongoing major and medium projects.
There is a definite gap between irrigation potential created and the potential utilized. Under Bharat Nirman it is planned to restore and utilize irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare through implementation of extension, renovation and modernization of schemes alongwith command area development and water management practices.
There are considerable areas in the country with unutilised ground water resources. Irrigation potential of 28 lakh hectare is planned to be created through ground water development.
The remaining target for creation of irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare is planned to be created by way of minor irrigation schemes using surface flow.
10 lakh hectare of irrigation potential is also planned by way of repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies and extension, renovation and modernization of minor irrigation schemes.
Telephone ConnectionsTelecom connectivity constitutes an important part of the effort to upgrade the rural infrastructure. Under the Bharat Nirman Programme, it will be ensured that 66,822 revenue villages in the country, which have not yet been provided with a Village Public Telephone (VPT), shall be covered. Out of the above villages, connectivity in 14,183 remote and far flung villages will be provided through digital satellite phone terminals. Assistance for both capital as well as operational expenditure for these VPTs will be met out of the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF).
Rural Water SupplyTo build rural infrastructure, Bharat Nirman has been launched by the Government of India in 2005 to be implemented in a period of four years from 2005-06 to 2008-09. Rural drinking water is one of the six components of Bharat Nirman. During Bharat Nirman period, 55,067 un-covered and about 3.31 lakh slipped-back habitations are to be covered with provisions of drinking water facilities and 2.17 lakh quality-affected habitations are to be addressed for water quality problem.
While prioritising the addressal of the water quality problem, Arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations have been accorded priority followed by Iron, Salinity, Nitrate and other contaminants. To ensure that habitations once provided with drinking water supply infrastructure do not slip back and face drinking water problem, sustainability of drinking water sources and systems has been accorded high priority. To achieve drinking water security at village/ habitation level, conjunctive use of water i.e. judicious use of rainwater, surface water and ground water is promoted.
To enable the rural community shoulder the responsibility in management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems at village level, decentralized, demand-driven, community-managed approach in the form of Swajaldhara have been adopted. To further strengthen community participation in the drinking water sector for sustainability, National Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance programme has been launched in February, 2006 under which 5 persons in each Gram Panchayat are to be trained to carry out regular surveillance of drinking water sources for which 100% financial assistance including water testing kits, are provided.
Rural ElectrificationMinistry of Power has introduced the scheme Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) in April 2005, which aims at providing electricity in all villages and habitations in four years and provides access to electricity to all rural households. This programme has been brought under the ambit of Bharat Nirman.
Under RGGVY, electricity distribution infrastructure is envisaged to establish Rural Electricity Distribution Backbone (REDB) with at least a 33/11KV sub-station, Village Electrification Infrastructure (VEI) with at least a Distribution Transformer in a village or hamlet, and standalone grids with generation where grid supply is not feasible.
This infrastructure would cater to the requirements of agriculture and other activities in rural areas including irrigation pump sets, small and medium industries, khadi and village industries, cold chains, healthcare and education and IT. This would facilitate overall rural development, employment generation and poverty alleviation.
Subsidy towards capital expenditure to the tune of 90% will be provided, through Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC), which is a nodal agency for implementation of the scheme. Electrification of un-electrified Below Poverty Line (BPL) households will be financed with 100% capital subsidy @ Rs.1500/- per connection in all rural habitations.
The Management of Rural Distribution is mandated through franchisees. The services of Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) are available to the States for assisting them in the execution of Rural Electrification projects.
Source: National Portal Content Management Team