India’s Road Network: A Journey of Expansion and Improvement
India’s road network stands as a testament to the nation’s commitment to infrastructure development and connectivity. With approximately 63.32 lakh km of roads as of March 2019, India boasts the second-largest road network in the world, showcasing a remarkable increase from about 54.02 lakh km in March 2014.
The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, highlighted this substantial growth in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, underscoring the government’s dedication to enhancing transportation infrastructure. A significant boost in budgetary allocation has propelled this progress, with funding soaring from approximately Rs. 31,130 crore in 2013-14 to a staggering Rs. 2,76,351 crore in 2023-24.
Capital expenditure on National Highways (NHs) has experienced a remarkable surge as well, skyrocketing from about Rs. 51,000 crore in 2013-14 to over Rs. 2,40,000 crore in 2022-23. This influx of investment has paved the way for substantial expansion and improvement of the NH network across the country.
The NH network’s length has grown exponentially, increasing by 1.6 times from 91,287 km in March 2014 to 1,46,145 km presently. Notably, the quality of roads has witnessed a significant enhancement, with the length of 4-lane and above NHs surging by more than 2.5 times, from 18,371 km in 2014 to 46,720 km.
Moreover, there has been a notable transformation in the composition of NHs, with the share of less than 2-lane NHs decreasing from 30% to 10% of the total NH network. This reduction is accompanied by a decrease in length from 27,517 km to 14,350 km, reflecting a concerted effort towards upgrading and modernizing the road infrastructure.
India’s road network plays a pivotal role in facilitating economic growth, social development, and regional connectivity. The government’s unwavering commitment to expanding and enhancing this vital infrastructure is poised to unleash a new era of progress and prosperity across the nation. As India continues on its journey of development, its road network stands as a cornerstone of connectivity and opportunity for all.