Rajouri, where 95% of people are below the poverty line, gets the first road connectivity in its Budhal division after 75 years of independence under the central government’s road connectivity programme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
People used to walk 12-14 km to reach the market or for any hospital services. For the very first time, people from the area are getting school buses and ambulance services on their doorsteps.
The locals of the area welcomed the administration’s move and thanked the Central government.
“We thank our prime minister who looked upon us and gave priority to this backward area. Earlier, we were not able to get electricity and used to lit the kerosene lamp, but now we are getting electricity in our village,” said a villager.
Highlighting the problem of not being able to reach the destination in case of emergency due to unavailability of roads, a local said, “In case of emergency, it used to take 3-4 to reach the main town. Now, this road will lessen our travel time.”
Another local said, “We used to suffer a lot. Dhalori is 7 km far away from my place and if anybody got sick, we used to take him/her for treatment on our shoulders.”
Students used to walk almost 12 km barefoot daily through the hilly areas to reach Dhalori Higher Secondary School.
“There is a big relief now for us. We are very happy that we get road connectivity here. Earlier, we used to go to the school barefoot for 12km, but now we go by bus,” a student said.
Mohammad Shafiq, an engineer in the PMGSY Budhal division said that this road is called Dhalori to Gadiog and is 13 km long. People can get any vehicle here while earlier, there were no such facilities. “People are now getting indulged in small businesses as they are now getting from the market nearby,” Shafiq further said.
According to official figures from the Union rural development Ministry, earlier in April, Jammu and Kashmir secured the third rank in developing its rural road network under PMGSY after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
At least 3,139 km of roads have been built in the Union Territory From 2001 to 2022, which connected 114 habitations while six J&K districts out of 30 districts in the country under this programme have achieved the most length of road construction during the same period.
To provide all-weather connectivity to unconnected habitations in rural areas with a population of more than 250 as per the 2001 census, PMGSY was launched in J&K during 2001-2002.
The rural development ministry had sanctioned 3,347 schemes under PMGSY-I in 12 phases to construct 18,432.79km of roads at Rs 1,19,646.76 crore to provide connectivity to 2,148 eligible habitations across J&K. Under PMGYS-II, 107 schemes were sanctioned with a length of 704.55km at Rs 790.49 crore. as per official figures six rural districts Udhampur, Doda, Kishtwar, Reasi, Kathua, and Rajouri in the Jammu region showed rapid development. Among them, Udhampur was the top-performing district with the completion of a 644.05km road network during 2021-22, followed by Doda (362.5km), Kishtwar (302.88km), Reasi (299km), Kathaua (275.88km) and Rajouri (215.98km). (ANI)