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Connectivity and transportation across rural India are roadblocks to infrastructure and economic development. The PMGSY scheme is an initiative that aims to minimise this challenge by providing robust, all-weather connectivity across rural India. Better road transportation in effect would not only enable MSME entrepreneurship to emerge and flourish in these areas, but also open opportunities for employment, economic activities, improved logistics, and the ease of transportation. Today, let’s take a look at the PMGSY scheme details to understand PMGSY full form, the objectives of PMGSY scheme, challenges and its different phases.

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What is PMGSY full form?

Let’s start with the basic questions – What is the PMGSY scheme and what is PMGSY full form?

PMGSY full form:

PMGSY stands for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

As a poverty reduction strategy, the PMGSY scheme was launched in 2000 by the ‘Government of India’ to provide better connectivity (rural roads network) to unconnected habitations.

Almost 1.67 lakh unconnected habitations are eligible under the PMGSY programme, which includes construction of new road networks and upgrading existing ones.

For more information on PMGSY full form and details on the programme, visit:

Yu can find specific PMGSY scheme details on:

Objectives of PMGSY programme

Rural road connectivity is vital for rural development. Better roads not only lead to increased economic opportunities, entrepreneurship and employment, but also enables to cultivate self-reliance and reduce poverty in rural areas. (Also read: Role of MSME in rural development)

Over the years, though there has been planned action taken towards building all-weather roads across rural and urban areas, there are challenges regarding their quality and maintenance. The PMGSY scheme therefore is the government’s initiative to provide better road network across rural India and enable to build a more resilient, robust, and empowered rural economy.

Listed below are some the key PMGSY scheme objectives:

  • Build all-weather roads for eligible unconnected areas in rural India to improve road connectivity.
  • Eligibility would include any unconnected habitations with more than 500 people in the Plains (250 persons for hill states, desert areas, tribal areas, and selected backward districts).
  • Upgrade roads to current standards in all Districts with eligible habitations.

It must be noted that the core objective of the PMGSY programme is to build new roads. Upgradation work is for specific projects only.

Also read: Interim Budget initiatives to enhance MSME market access

Who is eligible for PMGSY scheme?

Now that we understand the PMGSY scheme details, let’s also look at the eligibility for PMGSY scheme.

  • The area must be an unconnected Habitation and not a hamlet or revenue village
  • Minimum population of 500 persons in the Plains is required
  • For NE states, hilly and desert areas, tribal areas, and selected backward areas, the minimum population for consideration stands at 250 persons
  • Selection of such areas will be determined by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Planning Commission
  • Data as per Census 2021 will be considered for identification
  • Relaxation is provided for areas impacted by Left Wing Extremism (RCPLWEA) where a minimum population of 100 persons will be considered

Also read: Transport regulations in India – Learn about the rules on vehicle, registration, fitness, permits

What are the benefits of PMGSY programme?

As can be understood from the above sections, the key objective and benefit of the PMGSY scheme is to provide all-weather roads in unconnected Habitations. Put simply, this means to construct superior quality roads in identified areas to improve connectivity in these areas. All-weather roads have appropriate cross-drainage structure and is hence drained effectively during all seasons and weather conditions.

This however does not mean that the roads so constructed do not require scheduled maintenance work or that will not wear in time. It simply means that these roads are of superior standards. On that note, listed below are the common advantages of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana:

  • Reduce poverty in rural areas through better road connectivity and movement of goods
  • Increase rural road connectivity in turn leading to rural development
  • Scale economic activities, entrepreneurship, and employment generation to build a self-reliant rural economy
  • Drive market access for farms and agricultural produce through improved road networks between farms and markets
  • Improve access to village agricultural markets (GrAMs), hospitals and schools for enhanced business, healthcare, and academic opportunities and other social welfare schemes
  • Encourage more enterprises to venture growth opportunities in rural sectors, government functionaries (e.g., healthcare workers, teachers) to extend their services in these areas, and more

In general, road infrastructure is the responsibility of State or UT governments (except National Highways). However, due to challenges in funds allocation, operational delays, and others, this is often not prioritised. With the PMGSY scheme, the Central Government is taking a conscious and planned approach towards roadways development in unconnected Habitations, in turn making it possible for villages and rural communities to thrive and have access to better livelihood opportunities.

PMGSY in various states and in recent news:

  • In recent news, 108 roads have been approved for upgradation in Uttarakhand under the PMGSY scheme. Total estimated expenditure would be ₹967.73 crores (split between Centre and State) and would cover a distance of 1,197.207 kms. (Source: The Economic Times, February 2024)
  • A sum of ₹36.65 crores has been sanctioned by the Rural Development Ministry for the UT of Ladakh. The corpus would be used for building bridges and roads. Under Phase-III of PMGSY, there are further plans of strengthening rural road network with the construction of 500 kms of rural roads. (Source: Business Standard, October 2023)
  • In the Interim Budget 2024-25, a sum of ₹19,000 crores has been allocated for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. (Source: CNBC TV 18, February 2024)

Also read: Highlights of Interim Budget 2024-25

Phases of PMGSY

PMGSY is an enormous programme with work ongoing in different phases. Through Phase-I and Phase-II, over 7 lakh kms of road has been constructed. The programme is now in Phase-III.


  • Launched in December 2000 and entirely sponsored by the Central Government
  • Focus was on building new all-weather roads to unconnected Habitations
  • Road upgradation projects also undertaken but isn’t the primary goal of the programme
  • 1,35,436 Habitations were identified for the first phase of the scheme
  • 68 lakh kms of roads were to be upgraded to increase market access for farms


  • Approval for Phase II came in May 2013
  • Focus was on rural road upgradation for existing roads to enhance connectivity and rural infrastructure
  • Expenditure was to be split between the Centre and States/Union Territories on a 75%-25% ratio
  • For special states (e.g., hill states, desert areas, etc.) the split would be 90%-10% for Centre and State/UT
  • Total road length targeted was 50,000 km
  • Phase II has been extended to September 2022 for completion


  • This phase was approved in July 2019
  • Focus area is on consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links
  • This would facilitate to link habitations with agricultural markets in the villages, schools and hospitals
  • Timeline for the scheme in up to 2025 that would link 1,25,000 kms of roadways
  • Funds would be shared between the Centre and States/UTs on a 60%-40% ratio, except special states where the Centre would bear 90% of the construction cost

Also check: PMGSY tenders – List of the latest PMGSY tenders for your business

What is Phase III of PMGSY?

As explained in the previous section, Phase III of the PMGSY scheme focused on the consolidation of Through Routes and major Rural Links. The phase was launched in 2019 and aims to enhance the road infrastructure in unconnected Habitations for access to village markets, higher education, and improved healthcare.

This would include connectivity to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), higher secondary schools and hospitals.

The estimated timeline for Phase III of the PMGSY programme is 2019-20 to 2024-25 for completing 1,25,000 kms of road length.

Best district of PMGSY scheme

At this point it is natural to ask – which district bagged top position for implementation of PMGSY scheme?

As of 2020-21, the district of Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir held the position of the best district of PMGSY, having built over 560 kms of roads.

The district has maintained its success in the PMGSY scheme for three consecutive years (i.e., in the top three positions) and has gained immensely from it. It has helped to increase economic activities in Udhampur, including ease of transportation of goods to markets (for farmers) and new business opportunities. (Source: Business Standard, December 2023)

PMGSY scheme challenges

The PMGSY programme is not without its challenges. Though it has been vastly successful programme, implementation has not been easy.

Let’s take a look at some of the challenges of PMGSY scheme implementation:

  • Availability and allocation of funds: Building and maintaining roads require funds. And allocation of funds needs to be done in a way such that the right Habitations are prioritised. For instance, roads built in the hilly areas require regular funds for upgradation as they are more prone to natural calamities like heavy rainfall or landslides.
  • Shortage of funds: India has the world’s second largest road network – and the goal is to expand road connectivity to rural areas through the PMGSY scheme. Quite naturally, there is constant need for more funds to ensure continuity in road construction. And while, the government has set aside an impressive corpus of ₹19,000 crore for PMGSY in the Interim Budget, it is still inadequate considering the extensive road network required to be built.
  • Inefficient or incomplete planning: Another challenge of the scheme is the lack of adequate planning, leading to increased costs, delays, and wastage. This can be because of unforeseen events or any other but resulting in delays due to insufficient planning. For example, in recent news, there has been reportedly delay in the construction of 800 kms of rural roads in Maku Village. Under the PMGSY guidelines the project has surpassed its estimated timelines and the village authorities have expressed disappointment over it and seeks a solution. (Source: Imphal Times, March 2024)
  • Infrastructure and resource shortage: Whether it’s equipment or machinery, or manpower and additional resources, road construction often gets stalled due to such shortages. Moreover, in hilly and desert areas, or areas facing harsh weather conditions, road construction and maintenance come with the additional challenge of material wastage or damage, delay in transportation etc. Project costs vary depending on the location, often making it difficult to get a skilled workforce.

Looking towards future prospects

There’s little doubt that the PMGSY scheme has been a game changer in many ways – especially in building a stronger, resilient, and economically stable rural economy.

It’s also vital for agriculture in that better roads leads to better connectivity from farms to market. It also encourages entrepreneurship and the establishment of MSMEs in the rural sector, more employment and better livelihood, leading to a self-reliant socio-economic community. (Also read: ASPIRE scheme)

This also enables access to better schools and colleges for education, and hospitals for healthcare.

In a nutshell, PMGSY scheme details have been outlined so that it’s a harbinger of change in the road network and transportation system in rural India.

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Sohini Banerjee

Sohini is a seasoned content writer with 12 years’ experience in developing marketing and business content across multiple formats. At Tata nexarc, she leverages her skills in crafting curated content on the Indian MSME sector, steel procurement, and logistics. In her personal time, she enjoys reading fiction and being up-to-date on trends in digital marketing and the Indian business ecosystem.