Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways decided to convert 7200 kms of states roads into national highways on 23 February 2014.
With this the total length of the state highways converted into National Highways during the UPA regime would reach about 17000 km.
About 10000 km of state highways were declared national highways during the last 10 years.
These roads are spread across states including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh besides bordering areas like Leh and Laddakh regions.
The present length of the National Highways in the country is about 80000 km.
The Union Ministry had received the proposals for declaration of more than 64000 kms of State roads as National Highways from various State Governments, against which the Ministry has declared about 10000 kms. of roads/routes as new National Highways.
Expansion of National Highway network is a continuous process and declaration of new National Highway is taken up from time to time depending upon requirement of connectivity, inter-se priority and availability of funds.
Once an stretch is declared as NH, development is carried as per the NH specification stipulated by Indian Roads Congress. The criteria for declaration/conversion of State Highways (SH).
The Ministry has devised an eleven points criteria for declaration of National Highways based upon the comments of the Planning Commission, are as under:
• Road which run through the length and breadth of the country.
• Roads connecting adjacent countries.
• Roads connecting the National Capital with State Capital and roads connecting mutually the State Capitals.
• Roads connecting major ports, non-major ports, large industrial centers or tourist centers.
• Roads meeting very important strategic requirement in hilly and isolated areas.
• Arterial roads which enable sizeable reduction in travel distance and achieve substantial economic growth thereby.
• Roads which help opening up large tracts of backward area and hilly regions (other than strategically important ones).
• National Highways grid of 100 km is achieved.
• The road must be upto the standard laid down for State Highways (SHs) – both in its technical requirements as well as the land requirements. It will, however, be ensured that the roads being upgraded generally satisfy the standards laid down for SH but MDR and other roads required to be upgraded to form grid and connect important/backward areas will also be considered.
• The existing Right of Way (ROW) should be the property of the State Government and must be generally free any type of encroachments.
The right of way required for the National Highways (preferably 45m, minimum 30m) must be available for acquiring, free of encroachments and the State Government would complete acquiring formalities within six months.
When: 23 February 2014