statesman news service 
Kolkata, 1 October:
Conceding to the state’s request, the Centre has agreed to bring all the rural roads in West Bengal under the purview of the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) for the purpose of construction and maintenance.
With this, West Bengal will be the fourth state in the country whose rural roads construction works will be executed by NBCC; at present only the rural roads in Bihar, Jharkhand and Tripura are under the purview of this Mini Ratna PSU.
The state government believes, the move will expedite the construction of rural roads in Bengal and also improve their quality of rural road projects.
“We have about 11,000 km of sanctioned rural roads in the state and the Centre allots us money under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for black topping them. But in several areas we have been facing trouble in getting
eligible private contactors to carry out such projects and also the process was getting lengthy, resulting in delay in implementation,” said the state panchayat and rural development minister Mr Subrata Mukherjee.
“To overcome the hurdle, I personally urged the Union rural development minister Mr Jairam Ramseh to bring all our rural roads under the NBCC and his ministry has now conceded to the proposal. We are hoping that a formal order from the Centre to this effect will come through on 4 October. This will expedite the construction of our rural roads, as we will no longer be required to invite tenders from private contractors,” the minister said.
According to the present approved rates under PMGSY, the Centre
allots around Rs 60 lakh for every km of concrete roads (black topped) in the rural belt.