Rural Roads & Human Development: A Study of Rural Areas of Udhampur District of J&K State (India)
Rural roads have positive impact on the social life of rural inhabitants is widely acclaimed belief. Rural roads also bring multifaceted benefits to rural people which ultimately make the way forward for human development in terms of access to health, education and employment opportunities. The aim of this paper is to examine the benefits which have been accrued to rural society after construction of rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The objectives of the study is to examine the impact of PMGSY on improvement in income level, health care institutions and frequency of visits to these institutions, the impact of PMGSY on access to an improvement in education facility. The purposive sampling method has been used to ascertain the impact of PMGSY on human development. The indicators of human development such as education, health and level of have been used to ascertain the impact of PMGSY on inhabitants living in rural habitations under study. The paper has found that all weather roads constructed under PMGSY have improved the access to educational and health institutions and an improvement in health care facility and quality of education has also been experienced. Apart from this, after PMGSY road construction, significant time saving was recorded to reach different destinations in these newly connected habitations. The study has also shown an improvement in the level of income has led to sustainable human development in the study area.