Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
Abstract PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana) was tasked in 2000 with the ambitious role of connecting all rural villages with all-weather roads. Over the last two decades, PMGSY has been heavily relying on IT and GIS for its monitoring and planning. Having almost completed its original mission, PMGSY has now moved its focus on strengthening & upgrading of heavy traffic and important rural roads through its newly launched scheme, PMGSY-III.
To aid the District Level Engineers to identify which roads are important, rural traffic data is required. But there is no easily available and trust-worthy database of rural road data. Relying completely on District engineers can potentially lead to inaccuracies and furthering of biases.
PMGSY has developed an in-house custom GIS-based network analysis algorithm called Trace Maps which simulates rural traffic and generates a user-friendly map that can be utilized by District Level Engineers for identification of important roads in the region. By simulating access to schools, hospitals, markets and administrative buildings from each rural village in the region, the algorithm generates a user-friendly PDF map with each road colour-coded by importance. By relying on open-source tools such as QGIS and an in-house development team, the tool has been successfully rolled out across the country. As on date, more than 1200+ Rural Blocks have relied on the algorithm to make their planning based decisions.
The PMGSY Trace Map story is an incredible example of large-scale impact, state capacity to adapt, use of emerging technologies for governance, user-friendly processes and scale possible with the use of open source technologies.