The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued notification for biennial polls to fill 13 vacant seats of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council on Friday.
The Yogi Adityanath government on Wednesday said it was working on rolling out an innovative initiative to ease the movement of traffic on streets, facilitate transportation and develop an integrated and green road network while reducing the state’s carbon footprint.
As part of the initiative, according to a government release, all municipal roads in urban areas will be widened in the state, reducing traffic and ensuring the smooth movement of commuters. The Urban Development Department is also considering replacing the Urban Road Improvement Scheme, which has been operational since the financial year 2013-14, with an incentive-based plan called the ‘Chief Minister Green Road Infrastructure Development Scheme (Urban)’ for the effective development of such roads. This will also help municipal bodies achieve financial autonomy, the government release stated further.
Currently, there is no dedicated plan for the development of roads in Uttar Pradesh, with widths ranging from 10 meters to 45 meters, the release stated, adding that despite this, wide roads being considered the main routes for urban transport and economic activities.
The proposed road network aims to develop integrated green roads that are cost-effective and have low carbon emissions. In addition, the plan seeks to enhance transportation efficiency, develop safe roads and intersections, maintain and manage created assets as well as achieve financial autonomy for municipal bodies.
The proposed plan is based on principles such as easy access to transportation systems, seamless mobility, innovative utilisation of road spaces, stakeholder participation and citizen engagement, the release said. adding that it aims to benefit everyone.
Further, according to the proposal, urban areas will also have to fulfil the eligibility and funding allocation criteria to benefit from the CM Grids scheme.
As per the proposal, urban bodies that achieve a minimum 10 per cent increase in their revenue collection compared to the previous year will be eligible to receive grants under the urban body scheme.
The urban body that achieves double the amount of revenue growth in their revenue collection compared to the previous year will receive funding for road development. However, the funding amount will not exceed Rs 100 crores in a financial year.
Under the scheme, at least 20 per cent of the total estimated transportation by the urban body will be carried out through their own resources. However, the urban body can utilize funds obtained from other schemes or programs (such as AMRUT SEM LAD or others) through convergence.
As per the guidelines of the Indian Road Congress (IRC), only the development of sub-arterial, collector, and local streets with road widths (Right of Way) greater than 10 meters and less than 45 meters will be included.
The funds received under the scheme will be utilised solely for the development of roads, the release stated further, adding that to transfer funds to urban bodies, a bank account will be opened in the name of CM-Grids (Urban) at the headquarters level by the agency, and the transfer of funds will be carried out through authorised signatories.
Further, under the proposed scheme, grants will be given to all municipal corporations in the first phase. In the second phase, the remaining municipal councils and Nagar panchayats will be included.
Criteria for road selection have also been determined, according to which priority will be given to traffic load, road width, connectivity, roads with important intersections, roads constructed five years ago whose maintenance period has been completed, deteriorated roads, roads requiring major repairs, and roads prone to accidents and waterlogging, the release added.
The development of road networks is often disorganised and unstructured due to the management of roads and related auxiliary facilities such as green cover, drainage, solar-based street lights, footpaths, utility ducts, landscaping, EV charging stations, etc., being carried out by different departments or agencies. Repeated excavation and reconstruction of roads also lead to unnecessary expenditures, it noted.
Under the scheme, effective efforts will be made to achieve coordination between departments concerned and agencies involved in road construction for planned and organised development of road networks, as well as for the formulation of plans, effective monitoring, and maintenance, it stated.