Rural Road Connectivity for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth - by Sangeeta Kumari
This PSIA analyzes the impact of the Indian Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) program, whose main objective is to provide rural road connectivity to create gainful employment and economic opportunities, with a focus on its differential impact on women and members of backward castes. Towards this, a specially designed survey of villages in the states of Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh was carried out in the second half of 2013. The study found that rural roads have made an impact on agriculture, education aspects and health, and have also improved connectivity, market accessibility, and increased income opportunities. However, the benefits have not been equally distributed, especially among the majority of female-households and lower caste groups. This PSIA addressed women’s perspectives separately and compared them with their male counterparts. A breakdown of female respondents showed that only 45 percent reported an improvement, and that dominant women groups have gained more benefits from the rural road program. The study suggested a set of complementary reforms in the areas of policy and infrastructure to be tailored to each state, and better integration of existing schemes, in order to capture the benefits of the road sector interventions more equally. Download the full report for more information.