India and Sri Lanka exchange experiences on Rural Road Development ProgrammesPublic Seminar on National Rural Roads Programmes of India and Sri Lanka
Lanka Forum on Rural Transport Development (LFRTD) and the Sri Lanka Road development Authority (RDA) organised a public seminar on the National Rural Roads Programmes of India (PMGSY) and Sri Lanka (Maganeguma) on the 25th of April, 2005 in Colombo. This was arranged by the LFRTD by making use of the presence of Mr. S. Vijay Kumar (Director General of the National Rural Roads Agency – NRRDA) and Dr. B.P.Chandrasekhar (Technical Director of NRRDA) in Sri Lanka attending the Consultative Workshop on Transport Performance Indicators organised by the IFRTD and the LFRTD. However, both the Indians had to leave Sri Lanka earlier than scheduled due an urgent call from their Minister in India to be present at the Parliament.
The whole intention of this seminar was to have a better understanding of the two national rural roads programmes of both countries through presentations and another presentation by ITDG South Asia on their experience of Community Managed Rural Roads construction and maintenance as a sustainable system at rural levels in Sri Lanka and India. The Road development Authority (RDA) was represented by their Directors at the seminar. The presentations were followed by a live discussion open to the public to express their views and concerns. At the end of the seminar both national programmes were expected to learn from each other in order to implement sustainable rural road management systems.
The LFRTD members were invited to attend the seminar by emails and letters by post and notices appeared in the diary column of a leading English newspaper for the public to attend. The LFRTD expected 50 members of public to attend this seminar but the actual number was 64. The seminar itself was a big success but for the absence of the two Indians. Their presentation was given by IFRTD Asia Regional Coordinator on behalf of the Indians and a hard copy of the presentation was also distributed.
There was a live discussion following all three presentations. The questions raised were on;
• Why PMGSY is using expensive technologies where as in Sri Lanka they have successfully tested and carried out low-cost bituminous roads?
• What were the social constraints of ITDG when implementing community managed roads?
• What were the main constraints of the RDA under the ”Maganeguma” programme?
Adequate answers were given to those questions except the one on the PMGSY.
The most important outcome of this seminar was that the RDA agreeing to start discussions with ITDG and LFRTD in order to design a better sustainable rural roads programme for the country based on the best practices within and outside the country.
The important lesson learnt was that public seminars are quite effective and the LFRTD should continue with them.
Rural Roads MDGs
Regional West and Central Africa
Regional Latin America
Safety and Security
Regional East and South Africa IMTs
Mobility as a Human Right