Rural development works worth Rs. 6.83 crore such as laying roads to connect remote villages and constructing public distribution system shops would be taken up in the district during this fiscal.

A total of 829 works have been accorded administrative sanction under the Rural Infrastructure Scheme with works to be taken up in all the 431 village panchayats in the district, official sources told The Hindu in Madurai on Thursday.

The RIS was introduced during 2008-09 to stabilise and consolidate the assets created under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and to create basic infrastructure facilities like cement concrete (CC) roads and buildings.

A need for such a scheme was felt after the Central Government discontinued the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana. This is being implemented by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), officials said.

Some of the projects to be executed include: laying of 317 CC roads, 11 BT roads, installing 18 street lights, constructing five panchayat office buildings, four PDS shops, two kitchen sheds, a noon meal centre, and six cremation sheds. Some of the other works that could be covered under this scheme include upgrading of gravel roads to BT roads and constructing compound walls for Panchayat Union Elementary and Middle schools.

The works to be taken up at a village are proposed by the respective village panchayat president. The proposals are scrutinised and accorded sanction by the District Collector who is also the Chairman of DRDA. The funds are allocated to Panchayats based on the population of the villages, the figures of which are taken from the 2001 census.

After having obtained administrative sanction, the respective Block Development Officers oversee the execution of the projects, officials said.

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