Roads, The Arteries Of India


I’ll always remember my first encounter with the tertiary road. I was six when my dad took the whole family out early on the morning of my birthday, and yes I had just turned six that day only for all you curious people out there, where we all witnessed the most beautiful sunrise we have ever seen across this very old yet important little piece of road just across Anand Parvath in old Delhi. Tertiary roads in India are probably the most underrated government entity as seldom do people realize their importance. They are always subjected to a lot of criticism, because of their sub-standard construction.


In reality they are the neural pathways of the industrial brain that is our country. Let me start stating their importance by giving you an example; the most important single road in India is the #Leh-Ladakh carriageway which is the only connectivity we offer to a population of over 50 thousand people. You would be surprised to know that this in fact was also initially a tertiary road.



In a developing country like India these roads are a necessity in rural areas and since not much attention is paid to their development it leads to transportation delays which results in loss of perishable goods. As even in this day and age almost 50% of our #GDP comes from #agriculture the need for development of #tertiary roads becomes a necessity.


What I feel is that the government should establish a council for agriculture and rural development which can also lead to employment creation through tertiary road maintenance. As only limited funds are available from the government the maintenance of these roads can be handed over to the Ministry of Rural Development which can also lead to employment generation in the rural areas. But the one concern with this project was supervision would be required which can lead to added expenses.



The importance of road transport is more in #India. All villages of India cannot be connected through transport because of large number of villages. Rail transport is too expensive. So it can connect only important places. Road transport helps to connect important railway stations, ports and other commercial centers; it helps to transport goods and people at a cheaper rate. We had 4 lakh kilometers of roads during the time of independence. Out of that only 1 lakh 57 thousand kilometers of roads were developed. Now the total roads of India have increased to near about to 12 lakh kilometers. Out of this, 5 lakh kilometers are developed and 37% of the total roads are polished.


A major problem that arises due to the under development of these roads is the issue of road safety. Road Safety is a #multi-sectoral and #multi-dimensional issue. It incorporates the development and management of road infrastructure, provision of safer vehicles, #legislation and law enforcement, mobility planning, provision of health and hospital services, child safety, urban land use planning etc.

So in essence there is dire need for efficient road development and maintenance which I shall discuss in my next blog.