3. The District Roads and

4. The Village Roads.

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1. The National Highways:

These are the main roads, which are constructed and maintained by the Central Government through National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), which was established in 1995. These roads are meant for interstate movement and connect the state capitals, important ports, major cities and railway junctions.

The total length of the National Highways was about 19,700 km in 1951. It has increased to about 65,700 km in 2005. The National Highways are only 2 per cent of the total road length in India, but these roads carry about 40 per cent of the total road traffic of India. The National Highways are also used for strategic defence movements.

A number of National Highways run in the north-south and east-west directions. NH-1 and NH-2 is old Sher Shah Suri Marg (G.T. Road). NH-1 is from Delhi to Amritsar and NH-2 is from Delhi to Kolkata. NH-7, about 2,369 km long, runs between projects will be looked after by the National Highway Development Project (NHDP). It was launched on 2nd January, 1999.

The four sides of the quadrilateral have varying length. It is 1,419 km between Delhi and Mumbai, Mumbai to Chennai is 1,290 km long, Chennai to Kolkata is 1,684 km long (longest side) and from Kolkata to Delhi it is 1,453 km long. The total length of super highways in the project is about 5,846 km.

This project will also have the North-South corridors linking Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) with Kanniyakumari (Tamil Nadu) and the East-West corridor linking Silchar (Assam) with Porbander (Gujarat). These two corridors will have a total road length of about 7,300 km.

The Golden Quadrilateral and the corridors will also be connected to 10 major ports of India, namely

Kandla, Jawahar Lai Nehru Port, Marmagao, New Mangalore, Kochi, Tuticorin, Ennore, Vishakhapatnam, Paradip and Haldia, through a road length of 363 km.

This is an ambitious project and involves a huge investment. These highways will have 4 or 6 lanes. The government has involved several private companies in this project. These companies will invest money, develop and maintain these highways. It is based on the concept of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT). The main objective is to reduce the time and distance between the major cities of India.

2. The State Highways:

These highways are constructed and maintained by the State Governments through their respective Public Works Departments (PWD). The state highways join the state’s capital with District Headquarters and other important cities within the state. The total length of the State Highways was about 1, 28,000 km in 2005. Maharashtra has the longest network of State Highways, followed by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

3. The District Roads:

These roads are constructed and maintained by Zila Parishads and the Public Works Departments. The district roads mostly connect the district headquarters with the main towns and large villages within the districts. Now most of these roads are metalled roads and provide accessibility to the rural areas. The total length is about 4, 70,000 km.

4. The Village Roads:

These roads are constructed and maintained by the Village Panchayats. They connect the villages with the neighbouring towns and cities. These roads made great progress under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana. Under this scheme, the all weather roads are constructed to provide easy access to the villages. Their total length in 2005 was 26, 50,000 km, which was about 80 per cent of all types of roads in India.