Posted By:Infra Bazaar
NEW DELHI: Spreading over 1 Lakh kilometres of national highways (NHs) India has one the largest network of roads. However, lack of scientific road network pattern makes it extremely difficult for drivers to take straight roads to reach from one place to another. To address this concern, NHAI has come up with a grid of 27 horizontal and vertical national highway corridors at every 250 km crisscrossing the entire country.
These stretches are supposed to be four lanes which will provide more road space, better connectivity and seamless traffic. Total length of these corridors is around 36,600 km, which includes corridors such as Kanyakumari to Srinagar, Porbandar to Kolkata, Surat to Paradip Port, Rameswaram to Dehradun and Mangalore Port to Chennai Port. Of these close to 30,100 km are already National Highways. However, only about 18,800 km are of four-lanes.
An official said that about 6,500 Kms have missing NH link which are either state highways or major district roads. The rest are either single or two lane roads. Such stretches need to be widened to four lanes and get converted into NHs. Calculating up on the cost factors government might have to invest about Rs 25,000 crore to complete this activity of converting into four lanes.
Making these national highway grids will help government to re-designate the NHs for better identification. For example, all even number corridors can be designated for roads connecting east to west and odd number for joining north to south. As per a ministry official, “the government is focusing on an integrated transportation network that will not only connect all major ports but also will assist in quick evacuation and transportation of cargo from one end to the other”.
Transport ministry has shared this plan with states and sought their views. "We want to be sure the states have not awarded or planned roads on PPP mode that are parallel to the identified routes," a source said. NHAI has given its detailed inputs in a presentation to Transport Minister Nitin Gadakri in March. The proposed NH grid will not only improve connectivity in each region and state capital but will also provide a highway link to 12 major ports, 45 out of 53 million plus cities and 26 state capitals besides providing connectivity to major tourist and religious places.