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Roads and poverty reduction: Excerpts from Swaminomics

Grama sadak, PMGSY, Roads, highways and Bus stands No Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a column by S. Aiyar in Times of India.

Roads are not, of course, the only things that matter – other rural projects and policies matter a great deal too. But connectivity enhances the value of every other rural investment, since it empowers people through improved mobility and access. People can more easily buy agricultural inputs and sell their produce. Children can go more easily to schools, cattle can more easily get veterinary help, and the sick can get to health centres. Remote areas have, by definition, the worst connectivity. They are among the poorest and slowest-growing, but accelerate when given connectivity.

Roads can incubate a thousand small businesses, and can convert villages into towns. Government staff are much more willing to be posted to places with good connectivity, so roads improve administration. Rural productivity cannot be high without roads, but can be very high with them.

… Gulati says that studies by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) in China, Vietnam and some African countries point to the same conclusion – rural roads do more for growth and poverty mitigation than virtually anything else.

A recent IFPRI paper by Fan, Gulati and Thorat estimated the impact of different government programmes on rural growth and poverty reduction in recent decades. The poverty-reduction data for the 1990s are given in the accompanying table. Road investment gave the biggest bang for buck, followed by agricultural R&D, with education lagging some way behind. Subsidies on fertiliser, credit and power achieved rather little.

For every million rupees spent, roads raised 335 people above the poverty line, and R&D 323. Every million rupees spent on education reduced poverty by 109 people, and on irrigation by 67 people. The lowest returns came from subsidies that are the most popular with politicians – subsidies on credit (42 people), power (27 people) and fertilisers (24 people).

Exactly the same picture emerged when the researchers estimated the agricultural growth impact of these factors. Roads and agricultural R&D contributed by far the most to growth. Lower down came investment in education and irrigation. At the bottom came subsidies for credit, power and fertilisers.

… For decades, rural roads in India were neglected by most states. Besides, rural employment schemes, starting with Maharashtra’s Employment Gurantee Scheme in the 1970s, created the illusion that durable rural roads could be built with labour-intensive techniques. In practice labour-intensive roads proved not durable at all, and those built in the dry season vanished in the monsoons.

This finally changed with the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched in 2000. This, for the first time, ordained mechanised techniques to provide high-quality, all-weather roads to 1.6 lakh rural habitations without pucca roads. It also upgraded roads that had collapsed. Panchayats were made responsible for maintenance. Conversations with experts suggest that this is one of the best-functioning programmes in rural development.

… Let me conclude by recalling what economist Robert Chambers said back in the 1970s. "If I had money, I would use it to build roads. If I had more money, I would build more roads. If I had still more money, I would build still more roads."

Roads and Highways infrastructure in Orissa

Angul, Balangir, Balasore, Bargarh, Baripada-Balasore-Kirtania, Bhadrakh, Bhadrakh-Balasore, Bhadrakh-Dhamara, Bhubaneswar-Berhampur, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack- Kalinganagar, Bhubaneswar-Dhenkanal- Anugul, Bhubaneswar-Nayagarh, Bhubaneswar-Paradip, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Astaranga, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Konark, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Bouda, Choudwar-Kendrapara - Dhamara, Coastal highway, Corridors emanating from Bhubaneswar metro, Cuttack, Cuttack-Paradip, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, DISTRICTS & BLOCKS, Gajapati, Ganjam, Grama sadak, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda-Sambalpur- Bargarh, Jharsugurha, Kalahandi, Kalinganagar - Kamkhya Nagar - Talcher, Kalinganagar - Panikoili - Jajpur - Kendrapara, Kalinganagar - Tarini - Keonjhar, Kalinganagar- Chandikhol- Paradip, Kalinganagar-Bhadrakh, Kandhamala, Kendrapada, Keonjhar, Khordha, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Mining Corridor, Nabarangpur, National Highways, Nayagarha, NH 200 (440 Kms: Chhattisgarh - Jharsuguda - Deogarh - Talcher - Kamakhyanagar - Duburi - Chandhikhol), NH 201 (310 Kms: Boriguma - Bhawanipatna - Balangir - Bargarh), NH 203 (97 Kms: Bhubaneshwar-Pipili-Puri-Konark), NH 203A (49 Kms: Puri - Bramhagiri - Satpada), NH 215 (348 Kms: NH-5@Panikoli - Anandapur - Kendujhargarh -Rajamundra @NH-23), NH 217 (438 Kms: Chhattisgarh Border - Khariar Rd - Nuapada - Khariar - Titlagarh - Ramapur - Baligurha - Asika - Brahmapur - Gopalpur), NH 224 (298 Kms: Khordha - Nayagarh - Dashapalla - Bauda - Sonapur - Balangir), NH 23 (209 Kms: Jharkhand Border - Rourkela - Rajamundra - Pala Laharha - Talcher - NH-42), NH 42 (261 Kms: NH-6@Sambalpur - Redhakhol - Anugul - Dhenkanal - NH-5@Nergundi), NH 43 (152 Kms: Chhattisgarh Border - Chandili - Borigma - Jaypur - Koraput - Sunki - Andhra Pradesh Border), NH 5 (488 kms: NH No.6 in Jharkhand - Baripada - Baleshwar - Bhadrakh - Cuttack - Bhubaneswar - Khordha - Brahmapur - upto Andhra Pradesh Border), NH 5A (77 Kms: NH-5 at Chandikhol to Paradip), NH 6 (462 Kms: Chhattisgarh Border - Lobarchatti - Bargarh - Sambalpur - Deogarh - Kendujhargarh - Jashipur - Bangriposi - Jharkhand Border ), NH 60 (57 Kms: West Bengal Border- Jaleswar - Baleshwar), NH 75 (18 Kms: Jharkhand Border to NH-215 near Parsora), Nuapada, Overall Odisha, Puri, Puri - Konark, Rayagada, Road maps, Roads, highways and Bus stands, Rourkela-Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sonepur, State highways, Sundergarh, Vijaywada-Ranchi highway No Comments »

 

In recent years there has been a big jump in the number of kilometers of national highways in Orissa. Following is copied from my page "Roads and Highways infrastructure in Orissa."

Road network: Orissa Roads1; Orissa Roads2; India’s NH network; India’s golden quadrilateral; the part of the GQ/NH-5 that runs through Orissa.

  • National Highways in Orissa and India; its growth in recent years:
    • NH 5: Junction with NH No.6 in Jharkhand near Baharagora-Baripada-Baleshwar-Bhadrakh-Cuttack- Bhubaneswar-Khordha-Chhatrapur-Brahmapur- upto Andhra Pradesh Border. (488 kms)
    • NH 5A: Junction with NH No.5 near Haridaspur-Paradip Port. (77 kms)
    • NH 6: From Chhattisgarh Border-Lobarchatti- BargarhSambalpur-Deogarh-Barakot- Kendujhargarh -Jashipur-Bangriposi-upto Jharkhand Border (462 kms)
    • NH 23: From Jharkhand Border-Panposh-Raurkela- Rajamundra-Barakot- Pala Laharha-Talcher-Jn. with NH-42 (209 kms)
    • NH 42: Junction with NH No.6 near Sambalpur- Redhakhol-Anugul-Dhenkanal- Jn. with NH-5 near Cuttack. (261 kms)
    • NH 43: From Chhattisgarh Border- Dhanpunji- Borigma- Jaypur-Koraput-Sunki- Andhra Pradesh Border. (152 kms)
    • NH 60: From West Bengal Border- JaleswarBaleshwar (57 kms)
    • NH 75: From Jharkhand Border to junction with NH No.215 near Parsora (18 kms)
    • NH 200: From Chhattisgarh-Machida-Jharsuguda- Kochinda- Deogarh -Talcher-Kamakhyanagar-Sukinda- Chandhikhol (440 kms)
    • NH 201: Boriguma-Ampani-Bhawanipatna- Belgan- Balangir-Luisinga-Jogisuruda-Dunguripali-Bargarh (310 kms)
    • NH 203: Bhubaneshwar-Pipili-Puri-Konark (97 kms)
    • NH 203A: The highway starting from its junction with NH-203 at Puri, connecting Bramhagiri and terminating at Satpada (49 kms)
    • NH 215: Panikoli-Anandapur-Ghatgan- Kendujhargarh- Parsora-Koira-Rajamundra (348 kms)
    • NH 217: From Chhattisgarh Border-Nauparha-Khariar- Titlagarh-Belgan- Ramapur- Baligurha-Sorada-Asika- Brahmapur- Narendrapur- Gopalpur (438 kms)
    • NH 224: Khordha-Nayagarh-Dashapalla- Purunakatak-Bauda-Sonapur-Balangir (298 kms)
  • Vijaywada-Ranchi highway (approved by planning commission as reported in May 2006), [July 06] [The Orissa government has been demanding a NH from Vijaywada to Ranchi which will pass through the Naxal infested areas. 1200 km of this 2000km will be in Orissa. CM talked to planning comission about it.]
  • Ongoing National Highway work in Orissa
  • Future plans for Orissa: [1:april-28-05]; [2:april-28-05].
  • Various phases of NHDP: [1]; [2]; [3]
  • Other highway plans:
    • 4 laning of Chandikhol-Paradip by February-end of 2007
    • 4 laning of Keonjhar-Panikoili, Duburi-Talcher, Cuttack-Paradeep and Duburi-Keonjhar Highways. [June17-05-Pragativadi]
  • Aim-for-with-high-priority/parts-of-it-in-Orissa-govt- plan(page4)-already:
    • Connect NH 215 (perhaps at Jajpur Rd) to Jenapur to NH200 (where it meets Brahmani) with a highway as Jenapur is the location where the National waterway will cross the railway line and Jenapur is 7 kms from where a branch of the line goes to Daitari and Bansapani.
    • Designate AP-border-Koraput-Raygada-Padampur- Berhampur (in NH5) as a National highway. (This will bring Koraput and Raygada, thus a big part of KBK, closer to BBSR) — a slight revision of what is in the plan
    • Designate Anandpur (NH 215)-Bhadrak-Dhamara port as an NH. (This will bring Dhamara port closer to Jharkhand, thus helping industries in Jharkhand and Orissa.)
    • Jagatpur-Kendrapara-Chandbali-Dhamara — make it an NH (alternative route to Dhamara port)
    • Panikoili/Kuakhia-Jajpur-Aradi-Chandabali — make it an NH (alternative route to Dhamara port)
    • Panikoili-Jajpur-Kendrapara-NH5a-Paradeep — make it an NH (alternative to Paradeep port)
  • Orissa State Road Transport Company (OSRTC)
  • Wide city roads:
    • Four-laning of the Airport-Dhamana Chhaka road in Bhubaneswar: [1]
    • Other Bhubaneswar Road plans: [1], [2]
  • Bhubaneswar area road plans: