For over 15 years, no amount of budget allocation on paper is helping the State government to mend the roads in Lakh Village, Maharashtra.
The roads in Maharashtra are deteriorating with every passing year. Several roads are profusely potholed, leading to accidents. Repairs and widening of the roads have become a routine, but this task of completion seems aeons away. Lakh village, in Digsar, Maharashtra has been waiting for the construction of their roads for more than 20 years now.
“No repair work on roads happened 20 years, whatever little has happened, it hasn’t been done properly”, said Shantaram Wankhedkar, from Lakh village. The commuters have no choice but to take the same route. The situation becomes worse when the sewage water clogs the road and makes it even more difficult for transportation. Because of this, the residents of the village are facing numerous health ailments. Shantaram adds that people are feeling miserable from dysentery, fever, and vomiting, and more than 100 people are suffering from diarrhea.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), a nationwide plan was launched in the year 2000 by the Union Ministry of Rural Development. It is aimed to provide connectivity in way of all-weather roads to all habitations in the country. The construction of cement and concrete (CC) road inside every village with drainage facility has been given emphasis. In the Maharashtra 2018 budget, Rs.10,828 crore was allocated for roads and it is expected to grow at an annual rate of 22 percent to Rs 1.43 lakh crore by 2020- 2021. While the state level government is focusing on the robust growth of four-lane expressways and highways, roads in rural areas are being proposed but ignored.
Over time, it has been highlighted that the potholes and ditches on roads cause hardship and inconvenience to the people in Lakh village. “The people of the village along with the panchayat members appealed 2-3 times for better roads but the MLA and district level officers did not take it seriously”, said Shantaram.
The Vice Sarpanch of Lakh village was notified about the ill conditions of the road in the village. “We have received money for the underground sewage but nothing is allocated for the roads or the sewage system. There is no source of income in the gram panchayat”, said Sheikh Raffiq, the Vice Sarpanch.
In December 2018, Maharashtra government received 555 complaints regarding inaction in maintaining roads, wherein only 78 had been attended to. Despite spending a huge amount of money every year, people end up commuting on bad roads. We hope the government will take this issue into consideration and will come out with concrete plans of implementation to evince the pain for the people living in Lakh village.
Video by Community Correspondent Kalpana Jawade.
Article by Grace Jolliffe, a Member of VV Editorial Team.