How Many Types of Roads are there in India?

Types of Roads in India

Indian Roads are classified into 7 types.

  1. National Highways – National Highways are the major roads connecting the capitals, ports and important cities. The Government of India passed the National Highways Act 1956 to take the responsibility of building and maintaining the National Highways. Check out the list of Important National Highways in India on the linked page. 
  2. State Highways – These roads connect the major cities and towns of a state. State Highways are constructed and maintained by the state Public Work Departments (PWD). 
  3. District Roads – These roads connect major towns and large villages to the District headquarters. These roads are built and maintained by Zilla Parishad and P.W.D.
  4. Village Roads – These roads are built and maintained by village panchayats. These roads are not suitable for heavy mechanized traffic.
  5. Border Roads – These are the roads built in the Northern and North Eastern Border Areas. These are strategic roads built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) which was established in 1960. 
  6. International Highways -The country’s highway roads connecting with neighboring countries are known as international highways.
  7. Expressways – These are the best roads of India. In these roads the entrance and exit is controlled with the help of ramps. National Expressway Authority of India is in charge of construction and maintenance of expressways in India.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful in the IAS Exam.

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How Many Expressways are there in India?

Expressways are roads having 6 or more lanes. The exit and entry of expressways are controlled. India has the lowest densities of expressways in the world. As of April 2020, there are 26 expressways that are operational, 30 expressways are under various stages of construction, and 27 expressways are under the planning or proposal stage. Out of the 27 planned, 11 planned or proposed expressway projects come under Bharatmala Project. Some of the most well-known completed expressway projects are listed below.

  1. Agra-Lucknow Expressway (302 Km)
  2. Yamuna Expressway (165 Km)
  3. Outer Ring Road Hyderabad (158 Km)
  4. Mumbai-Nashik Expressway (150 km)
  5. Eastern Peripheral Expressway (135 Km)

The above 5 listed expressways are the longest expressways in India. Ganga Expressway project with a length of 628 km connecting Meerut and Prayagraj will be the longest expressway of India on completion. The project was launched in 2019. 

Aspirants can go through the following links to prepare for the upcoming UPSC exam even better –

Char Dham Project: Overview, Concerns and Facts National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Border Roads Organisation (BRO) 
Indian-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway One Belt One Road (OBOR) – Blue Dot Network  The Silk Road Economic Belt
Atal Tunnel in Rohtang | World’s Longest Highway Setu Bharatam Project  National Infrastructure Pipeline [NIP]
Smart Cities Mission – Government of India Mission Urban Planning in India Major National Highways in India

What are Sagarmala and Bharatmala Projects?

Bharatmala is a road infrastructure project executed by the Government of India. By 2022 a total of 35,000 Km of national highways construction and up-gradation will take place. Under the Sagarmala Project, high quality roads will be constructed in the coastal areas,areas adjoining ports, development of coastal economic zones, inland waterways. This project is to boost exports and employment. For the Bharatmala Pariyojana Project, the Government of India has allocated funds to the tune of $ 75 billions. This project is undertaken by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Sagarmala project is undertaken by the Ministry of Shipping and it entails an investment of Rs 8.5 trillion. These 2 projects were launched in 2015 and the projects are active.

Check the links given below to know further information on-

What is Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana?

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a project launched in 2000, to provide good all-weather road connectivity to all villages in India. This project is still active and is undertaken by the Ministry of Rural Development. In 2015, it was announced that the Central Government would contribute 60% of the funds and states would contribute 40% of the funds for the project. GIS System is used to monitor the progress of the project. This project has also been attempting to increase the green cover near the roads. Know in detail about the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) on the linked page. 

Latest developments related to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

1. Jammu and Kashmir’s 12 districts figure among the PMGSY top performing 30 districts of the country. 
2. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a good proxy for rural construction activity, only 2,198km of roads were constructed until June 2020, down a massive 40% year-on-year (construction of national highways, by contrast, was down only 13%).
3. As per recent study carried out by US based researchers (on road development scheme in villages), in over 11,000 villages that did not have a paved road in 2001 – The share of workers in agriculture dropped by 9 percentage points, while the share in manufacturing, education, and retail grew by 7 percentage points. As per the study on average, 14 workers per village leave to work outside, enabled by improved transport.
4. In September 2020, Union minister Jitendra Singh inaugurated 23 road and bridge projects worth around Rs 73 crore in Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, and Reasi districts of Jammu and Kashmir.The 23 projects include 15 roads built under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for all-weather connectivity and eight bridges for better connectivity to people.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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