The Rural Development Department was created on 1st July 1990 to deal with Minor Irrigation, Lift Irrigation, Rural Roads, Rural Govt. Buildings, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation sectors. Later, in 1996, the Department was restructured and Minor Irrigation and Lift Irrigation were transferred to Water Resources Department. Further during 2017, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation transferred to Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department. At present, the Rural Development Department is in charge of Rural Govt. Buildings and Rural Connectivity. Rural Works Organisation is working out the rural connectivity programme.
The Rural Works organization implements rural connectivity programme. Roads/bridges are being constructed under different schemes like NABARD assistance under RIDF, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), RLTAP for KBK districts and Constituency-wise Allotment (CWA). This organization also looks after the maintenance and upkeepment of public buildings in rural areas borne under the books of R.D. Department. This organisation is also doing construction activities of other Deparments on request. Besides implementing the schemes and programmes in general, RW organization provides emergency support service during natural calamities.
A Society i.e. Odisha State Rural Road Agency (OSRRA) was formed to look after PMGSY roads.