The union government launched the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) in late 2014, under which each Members of Parliament were supposed to take the responsibility of developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of three villages by 2019, and an additional five villages by 2024. Data indicates that 38% of the projects planned under the first phase of the scheme are yet to start while 54% are complete.
In October 2014, the Union Government launched the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), under which each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing socio-economic and physical infrastructure of three villages by 2019, and an additional five villages by 2024. The goal of the scheme was to develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019, of which one was to be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024. The scheme is inspired by the principles and values of Mahatma Gandhi and his vision for Gram Swaraj. It places equal stress on nurturing values of national pride, patriotism, community spirit, self-confidence and on developing infrastructure.
The objective of SAGY is the holistic development of identified Gram Panchayats
The main objectives of SAGY are:
- To trigger processes that lead to the holistic development of the identified Gram Panchayats
- To substantially improve the standard of living and quality of life of all sections of the population through the following
- Improve basic amenities
- Higher productivity
- Enhanced human development
- Better livelihood opportunities
- Reduced disparities
- Access to rights and entitlements
- Wider social mobilization
- Enriched social capital
Development project plans are devised by officials and experts
For the purpose of this scheme, the MPs first identify gram panchayats after validation of the District Collector/District Magistrate. A Charge Officer is then appointed following which social mobilization is undertaken by the MP. A working group is then set up by the District Collector which includes officials and experts who come up with a draft village development plan (VDP) based on the needs of the people. The MP then adds suggestions and submits the plan for approval from the Gram Sabha and the District Level Committee chaired by the District Collector. The proposed projects as per the VDP are then executed through the convergence of all Central & State Schemes and in partnership with Private, Voluntary, and Cooperative (PVC) sectors. No specific fund is provided under the scheme and the funds under various existing state & central schemes are to be utilized for this purpose. The scheme is being implemented in a phased manner.
MPs can identify any gram panchayat, except their own village or that of their spouse
For identification of the village as per the guidelines of the scheme, the MPs are allowed to select any gram panchayat, except their own village or that of their spouse for development as an Adarsh Gram. The MPs of Lok Sabha can choose a village from their constituency, and MPs of Rajya Sabha can choose from the state from which they are elected. Nominated members can choose a village from any district of the country. MPs who represent urban constituencies can identify a village from a neighbouring rural constituency for development under SAGY.
703 Gram Panchayats were identified for development under SAGY’s first phase
Since the inception of the scheme, Phase-I (2014 to 2016) witnessed the greatest number of villages being identified for development. Under Phase-I of SAGY, a total of 703 Gram Panchayats across the country were adopted by MPs including 500 Gram Panchayats identified by Lok Sabha members and 203 Gram Panchayats identified by Rajya Sabha Members. Under Phase-I, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had adopted the panchayat of Jayapur in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh had adopted Benti panchayat in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The state-wise number of panchayats identified varies from one in UTs and North-eastern states to more than 100 in Uttar Pradesh. The number of panchayats identified in major states (states with at least 10 panchayats identified) is given in the subsequent chart. These states together account for more than 90% of the panchayats identified under the scheme in phase-I.
Only 54% of the planned projects are complete, 8% in progress
The status of projects related to drinking water, toilets, power, roads, telephone connectivity, and construction of immovable assets in the gram panchayats identified under the first phase of SAGY, was shared in the Lok Sabha on 10 August 2021. According to the data presented, a total of 11,874 projects were planned of which only 6,358 projects are complete and 947 are in progress. In other words, only about 54% of the planned projects are complete and over 8% are in progress. The remaining 4,569 projects, 38% of the planned projects are yet to start.
Nearly 49% of the total projects planned (over 5,800 projects), are related to roads. Out of this, 2,990 projects (51%) are complete and 396 (13%) are in progress. Construction of immovable assets comprised over 2,178 projects planned (nearly 19% of all planned projects) of which only 44% are complete (957) and 18% (176) are in progress. The percentage of completion is the least for projects related to the ‘construction of immovable assets’. On the other hand, the percentage of completion is the highest for toilet-related projects. More than 77% of the planned projects (1,116 out of 1,442) are complete and over 10% (115) are in progress in the case of toilets. The rate of completion is 56% for drinking water projects (917 out of 1,638). For projects related to power (366 out of 785), the completion rate is 47%. A total of 50% (12 out of 24) of the projects related to telephone connectivity are complete.
Not a single project is complete in West Bengal and Nagaland
The list of major states which had a relatively higher percentage and a lower percentage of completed projects as against planned projects for each of the categories is listed below. For projects related to telephone connectivity, only a few states have proposed projects in the category and the number of projects ranges from 1 to 4 in these states. Most of these states have proposed only 1 project and have completed it.
Only 9 projects were planned in total in the state of West Bengal and not a single project is complete. The same is the case with Nagaland because where not a single project is complete. These states haven’t been included in the list below.
States of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand have a higher percentage of completed projects
Of all the states, the percentage of completed projects was the highest in Tamil Nadu (86%), followed by Uttar Pradesh (85%). In the states of Gujarat, and Uttarakhand, more than 70% of the projects planned for Phase-I are complete, while in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Kerala the completion rate is more than 60%.
Though states like Manipur and UTs have reported a higher percentage of completed projects, the number of projects planned in these places was less than 100 as compared to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra where the number of projects planned was more than 1,000. Among states with more than 100 planned projects, the completion was low in Assam and Bihar, where only 12% and 27% of the projects were completed respectively. In Punjab, Odisha, and Maharashtra, less than 40% of the projects are complete. The percentage of planned projects in progress ranges from 1% (in Chhattisgarh) to 13% (Kerala) in states with more than 100 planned projects.
Lack of funds and political will is hindering the progress of the scheme
Under the first phase of SAGY, only about half the projects are complete and about 38% of the projects are yet to start. As observed in one of our earlier stories, a 2019 report of the Ministry of Rural Development noted that the scheme had not made any significant impact on the socio-economic development of Gram Panchayats. The report further noted that the identified villages under SAGY faced a shortage of funds and that MPs did not utilize the funds under the MPLADS scheme, which is one of the main sources of funds for SAGY. Additionally, the report also found that there was a lack of political will to complete the planned projects.