There are roads, and there are roads, and, are there roads? What is a
road in the Indian context? Stretches of broken concrete interlaced with
potholes, the less said about them the better.
Roads maybe classified into
Major District Roads
Other Roads (urban, village and Panchayat roads)
India has one of the largest highway and road networks on the planet,
second only to the road network of the United States. The total length of
roads in the country exceeds 3.01 million kilometers. This labyrinthine
network consists of 34,608 km of national highways, 128,622 km of state
highways, and an informal network running to an astounding2, 737,080 km.
The roadworthiness of India's growing vehicle population depends to a large
extent on the quality of India's 2.2 million-km road network. Poor road
surface causes tyres and other components to wear out faster and there is
increased fuel consumption on account of congestion and traffic snarls.
The scheme announced by the Government in 1995 was a much-needed step and
recognized the importance of a proper road network. In it, Rs.200 crore was
allocated as Commencement Capital to the National Highway Authority of India
to enable it to construct subways, bridges etc.
During the last week of October 1998, the Ministry of Surface Transport
announced its ambitious plan to link Srinagar to Kanyakumari and Silcher to
Saurashtra. This unprecedented 7,000 km, four-lane expressway project is
expected to cost a whopping Rs.28,000 crores. The national highways are
estimated to carry 40 per cent of the total road traffic but account for
only 2 per cent of the total network.