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3.2.1 Core Network-Definition
The Core Network is the network of all the Rural Roads that are necessary to provide basic access to all the Habitations. Basic access is defined as single all-weather road connectivity to each Habitation. As already indicated, the effort under the PMGSY is to provide single all-weather road connectivity to each eligible Habitation by way of connecting it to another Habitation having all-weather connectivity or to an all-weather road, in such a way that there is access to, inter alia, Market Centres.

A Core Network is extracted out of the total Network mentioned in the DRRP and consists of existing roads as well as the roads required to be constructed to the as yet unconnected Habitations. However, it will not consist of all the existing roads of the DRRP since the objective is to establish ‘basic access’ i.e., one all-weather road connectivity to each habitation.

3.2.2 Why Core Network
The Core Network has the following advantages:

  • It will help in optimising the requirements of fresh construction and upgradation, for ensuring connectivity to all the Habitations.

  • It is primarily intended to mark out the essential network that is required to be maintained in good condition at all times.

  • It would optimise the resource allocation in respect of the network management within the District.

3.2.3 Steps Involved in Establishing the Core Network
The following four major steps are involved in establishing the Core Network.

  • Prepare Block Maps as part of the District Rural Road Plan process.

  • Identify the Market Centres.

  • Identify the Network of roads to provide single access to the eligible habitations.

  • Catalogue the roads by giving them code numbers.

These steps are explained below:

3.2.4 Preparation of Block Maps
The preparation of the Block Maps using topographical Maps at 1:50,000 scale has already been explained in Para 3.1.7 for preparation of the district Rural Roads Plan. It may be ensured that the Block Maps show the following:

  • All Habitations upto a population of 100.

  • All roads viz., NH, SH, MDR and Rural Roads, constructed by different agencies including the roads under construction as well as cart tracks and paths (in hilly areas especially).

  • Major Rivers/ Streams.

  • Administrative office location like Block & Tehsil headquarters.

  • Gram Panchayat Headquarters, Patwari office etc.

  • Health Service facilities (including veterinary facilities).

  • Educational Service Facilities.

  • Market Centres and Rural business hubs.

  • Places notified by State govt. as being of tourist interest.

  • Quarry Sites.

  • Market Centres, Administrative Centres like sub divisional headquarters and main roads which are outside the Block boundary but serve the Habitations in the Block must also be marked, outside the Block boundary.

3.2.5 Identification of Market Centres and Rural Business Hubs
Before preparing the Core Network, one needs to identify all the Market Centres in the Block. This is because an analysis of the transport patterns in the rural areas reveals that most of the travel is to the Market centres. These are generally located either on bigger roads or at the confluence of roads leading from a number of Habitations. Because they are easily accessible from the rural hinterland and are linked to the main road network, they function as Rural Business Hubs and generally have facilities for marketing of agricultural surpluses, Banking and telecommunication facilities, large stores for agricultural inputs as well as consumer items (durables and consumables). Facilities like agricultural equipment repair shops may also exist. Consequently they are likely to have developed public transport, Higher Education and Health care facilities. The Market Centres should be identified using the data available from published Census records/information available from Marketing Board/ local enquiries. For purposes of inclusion in the Core Network, market centres need to be identified to the extent that the local villagers should be able to go to the Market centre and come back within the same day. The maximum distance between a village and a Market centre would thus normally not be more than 15-20 km. In some areas, the Market centres may not be fully developed. In such cases the big villages having potential for developing into suitable Market Centres because of road connectivity etc should be identified. All the Marketing Centres should be marked on the Block Map.

3.2.6 Identification of the Core Network
There are three types of habitations in the Block Map – those which are connected, having all-weather roads, (ii) those which are not connected at all, (iii) those which are connected only by a fair-weather road. In the case of connected Habitations, it is possible that there are more than one road connections. In such a case, one road should be selected using Socio- Economic infrastructural parameter criteria. If, for any reason, an alternative road is the preferred choice of the local people, that road may be chosen, but, in any case, only one road should be selected for the Core Network, as the intention is to provide Basic access. In case of unconnected habitations, a suitable road connection should be identified, which would generally follow the alignment of an existing track. If there is more than one track, selection has to be made on the basis of the parameters, as already explained in 3.1.8.

The Core Network Plan shall thus be prepared for the entire Block. It should be checked again that all the Habitations are connected or will be connected to the nearby Market Centres, either directly or indirectly through other all-weather roads. It is not necessary that each Habitation is directly connected to the Market centre in a hub-and-spoke configuration.

Going by the definition of an all-weather road given in Chapter-1, it is not necessary to provide a road to a Habitation that is within 500 metres of an already connected habitation or an all-weather road. All such habitations should be treated as falling on the concerned road.

Suggestions/ proposals received from elected representatives including MLAs and MPs, Panchayats, and local population must be properly examined as these ca0n provide very useful information about the missing bridges, missing links and other priority demands of the local community. The existing road Network, location of major Market Centres, topographical features, and local travel pattern should be kept in mind. While deciding the Core Network, the fact that it will be used primarily by the local people must be uppermost in the mind.

3.2.7 Numbering of Core Network Roads and Tabulation of Data
Operations Manual for Rural Roads Once the Core Network is identified, the details of all these roads should be listed in the Proformae CN 1 to CN 6. The Proforma are given at Annexure 3.5. The data in the Proforma should be uploaded or entered in the DRRP Module of the Online Management and Monitoring System (OMMS). For purpose of numbering, it is always better to start with the North-East corner of the Block and workout clock-wise giving progressively higher numbers.

3.2.8 Miscellaneous
In some areas, even the Network of higher order roads like Major District Roads (MDR) and State Highways (SH) may not be fully developed. Many of the major bridges may be missing. The investment in Rural Roads will not show expected results unless these major roads and bridges are constructed. The requirements of such roads and bridges may be identified even though these are not to be included under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Such information should be provided to the State PWD to incorporate these in their plans.

3.2.9 Approval of Core Network
The procedure to be adopted for the approval of the Core Network shall be the same as that for the Master Plan (Para 3.1).

3.3.1 Comprehensive New Connectivity Priority List (CNCPL)
The Core Network is the only basis for selection of works under PMGSY. Once the Core Network is ready, the States are required to prepare Comprehensive New Connectivity Priority List (CNCPL), at Block and District level, of all proposed road links under PMGSY (with road code, names of habitations being connected with habitations code, population served and length), grouping them in the following Order of Priority:

Priority No.

Population Size




New Connectivity






New Connectivity [where eligible in respect of Hill States (North-East, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttaranchal) and the Desert Areas (as identified in the Desert Development Programme) as well as the Tribal (Schedule V) area].

The CNCPL list will be prepared with the following format:


Name of road


Code in CN


Population served

Habs to be connected

Present status(earthen track etc.)

Name & no. of TR associated



















(CN – Core Network / TR – Through route / LR - Link Route)

The priortisation may be done in one of several ways, but whatever methodology is selected has to be uniformly applied in the State. The basic features of the prioritisation methodology would have to be as follows:

  • The proposed links would need to be categorized in the Order of Priority at the outset.

  • Further prioritisation within the Order of Priority may be done with the State, District or Block as the planning unit, as convenient.

  • For a given Order of Priority and a given planning unit, the listing can be on basis of total population benefited.

  • Further refinements in terms of population per Km. benefited, etc may be adopted if found useful.

Depending on whether State or District is the unit, the SRRDA or PIU will prepare the CNCPL (and CUPL, See para 3.3.3).

3.3.2 Prioritisation of New Connectivity Road Works in Annual Proposals
The issue of criteria for selection of roads to be taken up has figured several times in Parliament and its Committees and it is apparent that the District Panchayats in the States need to adopt a uniform and objective methodology in a transparent manner, and to also enable full consultation with lower level Panchayati institutions and elected representatives.

Since the Core Network is now the basis for making Annual Proposals, and as given in Para 3.3.1 above, a Block/ District-wise Comprehensive New Connectivity Priority List (CNCP List) has been prescribed, all consultations for new connectivity will be based on such lists, and Panchayati Raj Institutions and Elected representatives may be furnished a copy of the relevant up-to-date CNCP List in order for them to indicate their choice of road works. Where road works of a higher Order of Priority still remain to be taken up, road works of a lower Order of Priority will not be taken up in the same District except when it is not feasible to execute the road work for reasons of non-availability of land etc. While finalising the District proposal, the District Panchayat shall record reason for such cases.

3.3.3 Upgradation Works
Upgradation works will be proposed in a district only if no new connectivity remains to be taken up. The selection of roads for upgradation will be done on the basis of a Road Condition Survey (Annexure 3.6) of the Core Network of the District which will establish a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) on a rating scale of 1 to 5 (see Chapter 14, and Annexure 14.7). After the Road Condition Survey is completed, a Comprehensive Upgradation Priority List (CUPL) for the District shall be prepared.

The only exception is if the Through Routes in the District are in such poor condition that the new connectivity link does not give all-weather farm to market access. In such cases, from the CNCPL, it is possible to identify such Through Routes (called associated Through Routes) and conduct a Road Condition Survey for such roads only, in order to be able to decide whether or not they need to be upgraded along with the new connectivity of the attached link road.

The Road Condition Survey results will first be entered into the PCI register and the Road Master under OMMS in all cased. In cases where no new connectivity is involved, the PIU will then prepare the Comprehensive Upgradation Priority List (CUPL) for the District based on the following:-

  1. The roads to be included in the CUPL will necessarily be Through Routes already included in the Core Network. Presently sealed-surface all-weather roads with PCI more than 2 and sealed-surface all-weather roads which are less than 10 years old (even if PCI is less than 2) will not be taken up for upgradation.

  2. Priority-I will be Through Routes which are presently WBM roads. In such cases, upgradation will comprise of bringing the existing profile to good condition (along with improvement in geometrics, necessary drainage works and road signages) and providing the appropriate crust and surface as per design requirement.

  3. Priority II are other fair weather through routes or gravel through routes or through routes with missing links or lacking cross drainage. In such a case upgradation will consist of converting the road into an allweather one with appropriate geometrics and all necessary provisions.

  4. Priority III will be other through routes which are at the end of their design life, whose PCI is 2 or less, i.e., are ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. In such road width, surfacing, etc., as per normal projected traffic requirements.

  5. Within each priority class, qualifying roads will be arranged in order of population served (directly and through population served in link routes), as a rough indication of traffic expected. However, States are advised to conduct an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) Survey at the earliest. Based on the time at which the traffic survey is carried out (such as Peak or Lean Seasons) the same is to be adjusted for seasonality in order to arrive at the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) count, which is the basis for the prioritisation as well as the design. (An axle load survey may also be carried out, on selective basis, on the roads where heavy traffic is expected with wide variations in the Axle Load Spectrum. Proposals for this purpose approved by NRRDA will be eligible for reimbursement of expenses).

  6. In case, in any District, the Through Roads defined in the Core Network do not belong to the Rural Roads category, the main rural links (emanating from the Through Route) will be considered for upgradation on similar lines indicated above. The basis for Prioritisation will be, in addition to PCI, the population served by the link in each category. In such cases the selection will be validated by the STAs and data entry made in OMMS Road Master accordingly after categorising them as main rural links (MRL).

Preparation of CUPL
The work of preparing the CUPL will be taken up only in those districts which are likely to complete new connectivity to eligible habitations within the next 1 year. The list will be prepared District-wise for each Priority class on the following proforma (where only a truncated portion of the road is to be taken under upgradation, only that portion needs to be mentioned by chainage):-

              District______________ Priority Class______________


Road code in CN

Name of Through Route / MRL*

Year of Construction

Year of Last Periodic Renewal

Present Surface Type


Total Populations of the habitations served by the road




















* where TR is not a Rural Road

Verification of CUPL
The CUPL will be got verified on the ground on sample basis through the STAs and the NQM system before it is processed for further approvals. The STAs will do 100% verification on the basis of the PCI data given by the District and sample ground checking.

After the CUPL is prepared and verified, it shall be placed before the District Panchayat for approval thereafter it shall be vetted by the State level Standing Committee (SLSC). After the District is eligible to take up upgradation works, annual proposals will be made for upgradation in the same manner out of the CUPL, as new connectivity proposals are made out of the Comprehensive New Connectivity Priority List (CNCPL).




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