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3.1.1 The Need for a Master Plan
Connecting rural habitations through good quality all weather roads, which provide access to services and also opportunities for the rural population to increase their income, is an important part of the socio-economic development process. For sustainable development through rural roads, it is necessary that a proper Master Plan is prepared in order that all activities relating to rural roads such as Construction, Upgradation and Maintenance can be taken up systematically within the frame work of this Master Plan.

3.1.2 District Rural Roads Plan (DRRP)
The District Rural Roads Plan is a compendium of the existing and proposed road network system in the District which clearly identifies the proposed roads for connecting the yet Unconnected Habitations to already connected Habitations/ All-weather roads, in an economic and efficient way.

The District Rural Roads Plan shall be prepared at two levels – the Block and the District. Keeping in view the convenience from the point of view of Map preparation and Data collection, the work would primarily be done at the Block level. Block-wise Road Plans would be prepared in accordance with the directions contained in this Manual and the priorities spelt out by the District Panchayat. After the Block-wise Master Plan has been approved by the Intermediate level (Block) Panchayat, it would be forwarded to the District Planning Committee (DPC), where the Block Road Plans would be integrated into the District level Master Plan, called the District Rural Roads Plan. This would be placed before the District Panchayat (or the District Rural Development Agency - DRDA where the District Panchayats do not exist) for consideration and approval. Then Plan would be forwarded by the PIU to the Nodal Department/ SRRDA for the approval of the State level Standing Committee. After approval, it would become the final District Rural Roads Plan, and would form the basis for selection of road works under PMGSY, through the Core Network (see para 3.2.).

Errors and deficiencies may exist in the DRRP and Core Network, due to factual inaccuracies such as population data. These may be detected at a later stage by the PIU, or the affected people may represent against the error. All detected errors and deficiencies or representations regarding them shall be carefully examined by the PIU and action shall be taken to amend or correct the DRRP wherever required. The approval of the State Level Standing Committee shall be obtained through the SRRDA for all changes Concurrence os the NRRDA shall be obtained and thereafter changes should be made in the OMMS.

3.1.3 Programme Implementation Unit (PIU)
As per PMGSY Guidelines and as detailed in Chapter 2, every State is to identify an Executing Agency for the execution of the Programme. The Executing Agency is expected to set up the Programme Implementation Unit (PIU) in each District. In most States, the Public Works Department (PWD)/ Rural Engineering Service (RES) has been identified as the Executing Agency by the State Government. The PIU at the District Level is usually headed by a Superintending Engineer/ Executive Engineer of the Division of the PWD/ RES . The Preparation of the Master Plan for each Block is the responsibility of the PIU, who must ensure that it has the approval of the Panchayati Raj Institution. Care must also be taken to see that the proposals of the MPs and MLAs, who have an intimate knowledge of their areas, are fully taken into consideration while preparing/ finalising the Plans.

3.1.4 The Ten Steps in Preparation of DRRP
The Ten Major Steps in the preparation and finalisation of the District Rural Roads Plans are as under:

  • Constitution of the Team.

  • Preparation of Data base.

  • Map preparation.

  • Preparation of a list of Unconnected Habitations and the selection of the optimal road links.

  • Consideration and approval by the Intermediate Level Panchayat.

  • Submission of the Block Level Rural Roads Plan to the District Planning Committee.

  • Scrutiny by the District Planning Committee.

  • Consideration and approval by the District Panchayat.

  • Forwarding of the District Rural Roads Plan to the State Level Standing Committee.

  • Vetting of the District Rural Roads Plan by the State Level Standing Committee.

3.1.5 Step-I: Constitution of the Team
The first step in the preparation of the Rural Roads Plan is the identification of the team who will perform the work at the Block level. The Team, for this purpose, should ideally include the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), the Sub-divisional Police Officer or S.H.O, a Revenue Officer of suitable rank, the Block Development Officer (BDO), local officers of the Transport and Agricultural Marketing Departments and Secretary of the Intermediate level Panchayat. The Assistant Engineer of the PIU would be the member-Secretary. In areas with special characteristics, local officials of the Department concerned should be included, if these characteristics impinge on rural transportation. The senior most officer (the Sub-divisional Magistrate if possible) should be designated to lead the Team. The Chief Executive officer (Secretary) of the District Planning Committee/ Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Panchayat/ District Collector would select the team for this purpose.

The Team should arrange to collect data on all items required for the preparation of the Block-wise Road Plans. These are as follows:

  • An authentic map of the Block on 1: 50,000 scale based on Survey of India Topo-sheets.

  • 2001 Census Data.

  • Existing road maps and road inventory details.

  • Block/ District level Statistical Handbook.

3.1.6 Step-II: Preparation of Database
The Team should thereafter undertake the task of tabulation of Data, derived from secondary sources, relating to Habitation and Rural Road inventory.

  • Habitation Level Data
    Although Habitations with population of more than 500 persons only [ more than 250 in hill states (North-Eastern States, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttaranchal), desert areas and tribal areas] are to be taken up under the PMGSY, for the purpose of preparation of the District Rural Roads Plan, all Habitations having a population of 100 or more persons and which are more than 500 metres (half-a-kilometre) away from each other, should be listed and separately identified on the map. This will enable the plan to have the depth necessary for long term and broad based use.

    Each habitation has to be given a specific code number. This code shall contain a combined identification of state, District, Block and habitation code to make a unique alphanumeric code (see annexure-3.1).

    The name and code number for State, District and Block along with the habitations are to be tabulated in Format-I (Annexure-3.2). This Format gives the reference of the block and demographic and infrastructure data of habitations under that block. The explanation of abbreviations and instructions for filling the Format-I is also given in Annexure-3.2 as “Instructions for filling Format-I”. The last two columns of Format-I (annexure- 3.2) shall be filled up after completing Format-II (Annexure-3.3). Planning

  • Road Inventory
    A comprehensive inventory of all Rural Roads including Other Districts Roads (ODR) and Village Roads (VR) and any other existing earthen roads having a Land Width of 5m or more is to be prepared at block level. The inventory details are to be filled up in format-II (Annexure-3.3). The annexure also provides the instructions for filling the Format-II as “Instructions for filling Format-II”.

  • Primary and Secondary Road Data
    The National Highways (NH), State Highways (SH) and Major District Roads (MDR), which form the primary and secondary road network in a region, will also be required for analysing connectivity of habitations. Therefore a record of all such roads passing through the Block shall be prepared as indicated in Format-III (Annexure-3.4).

  • It may happen that the data available through the secondary sources may not be accurate or up-to-date. These would, therefore, have to be physically verified through field visits. The most important activity in preparation of Database is the actual field visit. This must be undertaken with great care as the accuracy of maps and the data collected and tabulated in FORMATS I, II & III would depend on the rigour and discipline exercised during the field visit.

  • Condition Survey of Existing Rural Road Network
    The inventory of the road network prepared as above gives an overall assessment of each road link. It does not give a detailed account of each km of the road, in terms of its present condition. Such data is needed for selecting projects for upgradation or maintenance. A reference may be made to Chapter 14 for using the data for maintenance management. To prioritise upgradation and maintenance operations, a condition survey of all the Rural Roads in the Core Network shall be carried out periodically, the first survey results being incorporated into the District Rural Road Plan itself. The first condition survey and the field verification of the road inventory can be usefully done at the same time.

  • Pavement Condition Index
    A Simple Pavement Condition Index (PCI) based on Visual Inspection or Driving Speed or riding comfort, already in use in many States, would be used and prioritisation methodologies applied for determining Upgradation as well as maintenance priorities. Details of the procedure for determination of the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) are given in Para 14.9 and Annexure 14.7.

    The PCI data is an integral part of the Online Management & Monitoring System (OMMS) and the data will be included in the ‘Road Master’ for each kilometre. The PCI data after collection in the manner described in Annexure-14.7 will be entered into the OMMS database by the PIU and a District-wise output generated, copy of which will be furnished to the State Rural Roads Development Agency. Another copy will be supplied to the STAs for record. The Proforma is given in Annexure 14.8.

3.1.7 Step-III: Map Preparation
After the database has been prepared from secondary sources and verified through exhaustive field surveys, the Team would commence the task of Map preparation. The exercise should be closely supervised by the Head of the Programme Implementation Unit. Mapping should be done by trained draftsmen, who are normally available with all Engineering Organisations/ Revenue Departments.

The map should also show the latitudes and longitudes. This will facilitate the sequential arrangement of the Block Maps and in the preparation of the District map. The basic Rural road map shall be prepared at the Block level. The scale to be adopted is 1: 50,000. For convenience, Survey of India topo-sheets available on this scale can be used as the base. On this map, the data collected on the Habitations and the Road Inventory shall be incorporated. The map shall be drawn indicating the following details:

  • Boundaries
    All the administrative boundaries should be shown as below:

    State and National, if any

    District Boundary

    Block Boundary

  • Road Network
    The Road Network map should show the existing alignment (location) of National Highways, State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads, Village Roads and cart tracks etc, which have land width of 5 meters or more, accurately using the information compiled in FORMAT-II. The legend to be used for denoting these features (also railways, if any) on the map are as under:

  • Roads/ Railways


    National Highways

    State Highways/ MDRs

    All-weather Rural Road

    Fair-weather Rural Road

    (all existing cart-tracks, kutcha roads etc having land width 5m or more)

    The Core Network (see para 3.2 below) should be coloured Red, above the all-weather/ fair-weather Rural Road Line

    Cross-drainage Structure

    Rivers & Canals


    Places of Tourist Interest

    Quarry Site

    Market Centre

    Health Services

    Tehsil Headquarter

    Educational Service

    Sub Divisional Headquarter

  • Location of Habitations

    The habitations shall be shown as under

    Population > 1000

    Population 500 – 999

    Population < 500

The three digit Habitation Code should also be indicated beside shape code of each habitation. While numbering the Habitations, it should be remembered that this will be a three digit code and would basically be the serial number of the Habitation in the Block after the habitations are arranged alphabetically.

  • Link Route and Through Route Identification
    Link Routes are the roads connecting a single Habitation or a group of Habitations to Through Routes or District Roads leading to Market Centres. Through Routes are the roads which collect traffic from several link roads or a long chain of Habitations and lead it to Marketing centres either directly or through the higher category roads i.e., the District Roads or the State or National Highway. Link routes generally have dead ends terminating on a Habitation, while Through Routes arise from the confluence of two or more Link Routes and emerge on to a major Road or to a Market Centre.

    It is possible that some of the Through Routes (sometimes even Link Routes) may cut across Block boundaries. While integrating the Block Plans into the District Rural Roads Plan, it should be ensured that the continuity is maintained. Link Routes and Through routes will be distinguished on the Map by use of the Letter L and T respectively followed by the relevant road code.

  • Colour Scheme of Map
    The use of too many colours makes the presentation and interpretation of the maps difficult. Accordingly the existing roads should be shown in black, while the ultimate “Core Network” (see para 3.2) should be shown in Red. The proposed roads for linking the unconnected habitations shall be shown dotted in red. The legend for the habitations of various population sizes is also indicated therein. All habitations should be code numbered in the map.

    All the Block level maps should then be integrated into a District level map, taking care to match all roads, railway lines, rivers, canals etc. The District level map shall be to the same scale as the Block level maps.

    The maps should in due course be got digitised so that it becomes easy to put them all on a computer-based system, preferably on a GIS platform. Separate detailed instructions will be issued by NRRDA in this regard in order to facilitate a web-based GIS which can be used for monitoring and decision support.

  • 3.1.8 Step-IV: Preparation of the list of unconnected habitations and the selection of optimal road links
    Next, the Team has to undertake the task of using the available data and the information available from the Map to prepare the Rural Roads Plan of the Block. The Team should make two separate lists of Unconnected Habitations : (i) those which are connected only by a fair weather road which needs to be upgraded to the prescribed specifications and (ii) those which have no connection at all, not even by a fair-weather road. Both the lists should be in descending order of their population. A Habitation with higher population will rank higher in the list.

    Once the lists have been prepared, the next task is to find out the most efficient and economic route, in terms of cost and utility, for providing access from an eligible unconnected habitation to an existing All-weather road or to an already connected habitation. Studies have revealed that upto 95% of the trips made by villagers are to Market, Health, Education and Administrative centres. Consequently, while selecting the road link, the Team would have to take into account the requirements of the residents of the Unconnected Habitation and also see as to which connection best serves their needs. The views of the Village Panchayat or the Gram Sabha may also be ascertained for this purpose.

    Quite often, an Unconnected Habitation can be connected in more than one way. Often the Market Centre is in a different direction from say, the Taluka Headquarters. In case a consensus is not easily reached, the choice from various alternative links may need to be made on the basis of weightages accorded to different Socioeconomic services. Since PMGSY envisages only single connectivity, it is necessary to choose the most efficient road link in terms of utility. The District Panchayat shall be the competent authority to select the set of Socioeconomic/ infrastructure variables best suited for the District, categorise them and accord relative weightage to them. This would be communicated to all concerned before commencing the preparation of the District Rural Roads Plan. Numbers of people benefited per unit cost, number of persons having all weather access to a hospital/school etc are a few examples of services/factors.

    The proposals of the MPs and MLAs would be taken into account by the Team preparing the Draft Rural Roads Plan for the Block. A specific list would be made of the roads suggested by the MPs and MLAs and remarks indicated whether they are included or not; if not, the reasons thereof should be recorded. The Team would then prepare the Draft Rural Roads Plan for the Block.

    3.1.9 Step-V: Consideration and Approval by the Intermediate Panchayat
    This Draft plan would be presented before the Intermediate Panchayat by the Leader or the Member- Secretary of the Team preparing the Draft Rural Roads Plan for the Block. In this meeting, Officers of appropriate level, who have knowledge of the area, may also be called. The Plan should be finalised by the Intermediate Panchayat. Any changes made by the Intermediate Panchayat should be separately mentioned and causes thereof should be indicated.

    3.1.10 Step-VI: Submission of the Block Rural Roads Plan to the District Planning Committee
    The Team will, after obtaining the approval of the Intermediate Panchayat, submit the Block Rural Roads Plan to the District Planning Committee where these have been constituted, along with original map and all the Formats and Tables. In its absence, the Plan would be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer/ District Collector. The Team would record its views in case it feels that the Intermediate Panchayat has deviated from the Guidelines in this regard.

    3.1.11 Step-VII: Scrutiny by the District Planning Committee
    The District Planning Committee is the body created in the District for ensuring proper preparation of Plans for the development of the District. The District Rural Roads Plan is one which would have a tremendous bearing on the all round socio-economic development of the District. Therefore, it is appropriate that all the Block Rural Roads Plans are scrutinised by the District Planning Committee.

    After the Rural Road Plans have been received from all the Blocks, these would be scrutinised by the Chief Executive of the District Planning Committee/ Chief Executive Officer/ District Collector. He would be assisted by a Committee comprising of the Head of the District Programme Implementation Unit (Member Secretary); Superintending Engineer/ Executive Engineer PWD; Executive Engineer, Rural Engineering Service and senior officers of the Revenue, Rural Development, Transport and other concerned Departments, as Members. They should look into the deviations, if any, made by the Intermediate Panchayat and the justifications therefore. They must ensure that the Road Plan is according to the criteria given by the District Panchayat with respect to the Socio- Economic/ Infrastructure variables and also that the proposals of the MPs and MLAs have been duly considered. If any provision made by Intermediate Panchayat or the Team preparing the original plan is not as per the Guidelines, such provisions should be changed. The reasons thereof should be mentioned clearly.

    The Committee, after collating all the Block Rural Road Plans will prepare the draft District Rural Roads Plan as per the format shown in Annexure 3.4. It would also contain the priority list of road works to be taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, in line with the principles enunciated in Para 3.3.

    3.1.12 Step-VIII: Consultation with the District Panchayat and Elected Representatives and Approval of the DRRP
    The Draft District Rural Roads Plan would then be presented to the District Panchayat by the Chief Executive of the District Planning Committee. MPs should be specially invited to this Meeting. Members of the Committee who prepared the District Rural Roads Plan should be present in the Meeting. It should be discussed and adopted by the District Panchayat, with such changes as may be considered appropriate, but strictly within the framework of the PMGSY Guidelines.

    3.1.13 Step-IX: Forwarding of the District Rural Roads Plan to the State Level Standing Committee
    After approval by the District Panchayat, the District Rural Roads Plan, along with the District Priority list, would be forwarded through the SRRDA to the State Level Standing Committee.

    3.1.14 Step-X: Vetting of the District Rural Roads Plan by the State Level Standing Committee
    The District Rural Roads Plan would be vetted by the State level Standing Committee, headed by the Chief Secretary/ Additional Chief Secretary, as the case may be. The Committee could call the Chief Executive Officer/ District Collector to present the Plan before the Committee. This Committee should go into the details of the Plan and priorities and links decided by the District Panchayat. The changes made by the District Panchayat and reservations, if any, of the District Planning Committee, can also be discussed. The State level Standing Committee should ensure that priorities decided by the District Panchayat, as well as direction of the Government of India, have been followed in preparing the District Rural Road Plans in totality and the proposals of the MPs have been duly considered. The Plan, after it has been vetted by this Committee, would be the final District Rural Roads Plan. A copy of the District Rural Roads Plan would be sent to NRRDA for record..

    The District Rural Roads Plan would, henceforth, constitute the basis of preparation of projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana as far as that particular District is concerned. The State Governments would be required to attach the approved the Core Network along with project proposals under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.





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