The road transport and highways ministry has drawn up a framework to grade state roads on parameters such as traffic density and proximity to existing national highways.
Updated: Sep 19, 2019, 07.03 AM IST
The road transport and highways ministry has drawn up a framework to grade state roads on parameters such as traffic density and proximity to existing national highways. “Every road will be given a grade as per a fixed criteria and then given approval,” a government official aware of the matter told
Once a state road is declared a national highway, central government departments take over the responsibility of its upkeep and maintenance.
Typically, the Centre declares state roads as national highways on receiving proposals from the state governments. But now the government wants to have a defined criterion for a more efficient national highways grid and to address the issue of excessive conversion of state roads as national highways.
“Ultimately, we have to move to a smaller grid by way of adoption of state roads as national highways,” a second official said, requesting anonymity.
Currently, the government keeps a 50 km distance between each national highway. Under the proposed plan, state roads further to a national highway will be given priority.
The first official said the draft of the proposed framework will soon be sent to the Niti Aayog for further consultations.
Experts say the government should also look at investment potential of areas before declaring them as highways. “It sounds like a sensible way of prioritising, given particularly the bandwidth and project management constraints that may be there,” said Manish Agarwal, leader-capital projects and infrastructure at PwC India.
While declaring state roads as national highways, the government should also prioritise connectivity to places with strong investment potential, Agarwal added.
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