Street paving by stones was found during the time period around 4000 B.C. at the time of early human settlement during Indus Valley Civilisation by the people of Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro.
Roads were first created by Scottish engineer John Loudon Mcdam during the 19th Century. He built multi-layer roadbeds with soil and crushed stone together to packed down with heavy rollers to lock it all together. Over the past century, development has taken a drastic change towards new roads. After grading the surface, pavers come in and lay down fresh, continuous layers of asphalt followed directly by the rollers.
Much of the 20th century just like the Romans did lead to the development of the modern superhighway, including the German Autobahn and American interstate system.
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A highway is a simple & public road like all others but connects directly to the destination/ major towns or cities without any delay in between.
World’s longest Highway
The Pan-American Highway is the world's longest motorable road whose length is 48000 KM. It links the entire nation in North & South America except the forest and swampland of 100 KM.
History of Highways in India
- India has one of the largest road networks in the world, aggregating to about 2.3 million km at present.
- The first evidence of roads was found by the Indus valley civilization.
- In Pre-history grand trunk road was built by Sher Shah Suri in 1540-45. It is the longest & oldest road in Asia of length 2500KM.
- Grand trunk road runs from Chittagong, Bangladesh west to Howrah, West Bengal in India, then across Northern India through Delhi, passing from Amritsar to Lahore in Pakistan, further up to Kabul in Afghanistan.
- During the time of independence in 1947 roads were not maintained properly & NHAI was established.
NHAI (National Highway Authority of India)
"The National Highways Authority of India was constituted by an act of Parliament, the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. It is responsible for the development, maintenance, and management of National Highways entrusted to it and for matters connected or incidental thereto. The Authority was operationalized in February 1995 with the appointment of a full-time Chairman and other Members. Shri Raghav Chandra, IAS is the chairman of NHIA.
Indian Road Network
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National Highways of India
1. NH 1 - Delhi-Jalandhar-Amritsar-Wagah Border
2. NH 2 - Delhi-Agra-Allahabad-Kolkata
3. NH 3 - Agra-Indore-Dhule-Mumbai
4. NH 7 - Varanasi-Nagpur-Bangalore- Kannyakumari
5. NH 8 - Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmadabad-Mumbai
6. NH 11 - Agra-Jaipur-Bikaner
7. NH 22 - Ambala-Kalka-Solan-Rampur-Jangi-Khab
8. NH 24 - Delhi-Bareilly-Lucknow
9. NH 29 - Varanasi- Sarnath- Gorakhpur
10. NH 56 - Lucknow-Jaunpur-Phulpur - Varanasi
11. NH 58 - Mana -Badrinath-Haridwar - Meerut- Modinagar- Delhi
12. NH 64 - Chandigarh -Banar-Patiala- Barnala- Bhatinda-Dabwali
13. NH 65 - Ambala -Fatehpur -Jodhpur -Pali
14. NH 72 - Ambala -Paonta Sahib-Dehradoon-Haridwar
15. NH 73 - Ambala -Saharanpur- Roorkee
16. NH 74 - Bareilly -Sitarganj-Nagina-Haridwar
17. NH 76 - Pindwara-Jhansi-Attara - Allahabad
18. NH 87 - Nanital-Ranibagh-Haldwani- Rampur
Golden Quadrilateral Highway
- Golden Quadrilateral Highway is a network connection in India connecting Industrial, Agricultural & Metropolitian cities connecting Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi & Mumbai with the length of 5846KM.
- Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee laid the foundation stone for the project on 6 January 1999 which initially would cost ₹600 billion.
Phases of NHAI
National Highways Authority of India was authorized to implement the national highway development project (NHDP)
NHDP Phase I :
NHDP Phase I was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in December 2000 at an estimated cost of Rs.30,000 crore comprises mostly of GQ (5,846 km) and NS-EW Corridor (981km), port connectivity (356 km), and others (315 km).
NHDP Phase II :
NHDP Phase II was approved by CCEA in December 2003 at an estimated cost of Rs.34,339 crore (2002 prices) comprises mostly NS-EW Corridor (6,161 km) and other National Highways of 486 km length, the total length is 6,647 km. The total length of Phase II is 6,647 km.
NHDP Phase-III :
Government-approved on 5.3.2005 upgradation and 4 laning of 4,035 km of National Highways on BOT basis at an estimated cost of Rs. 22,207 crores (2004 prices). Government-approved in April 2007 upgradation and 4 laning at 8074 km at an estimated cost of Rs. 54,339 crore.
NHDP Phase V:
CCEA has approved on 5.10.2006 six laning of 6,500 km of existing 4 lane highways under NHDP Phase V (on DBFO basis). Six laning of 6,500 km includes 5,700 km of GQ and other stretches.
NHDP Phase VI:
CCEA has approved on November 2006 for 1000 km of expressways at an estimated cost of Rs. 16680 crore.
NHDP Phase VII:
CCEA has approved on December 2007 for 700 km of Ring Roads, Bypasses, and flyovers and selected stretches at an estimated cost of Rs. 16680 crore.
Green Highway Mission
- A Green highway scheme was launched by the union minister Nitin Gadkari in the National Green Highway Mission on July 1, 2016.
- The length of this National Highway will be 1500KM which would cost 300crore which would give the job opportunity to 1,00,000 youths.
- The mission is to ingress government organizations & other institutions to develop a green corridor.
- “Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana” was also launched on the same day, this Yojana is a pilot scheme to extend the green belt beyond the existing ‘Right of Way’ of highways by engaging farmers and providing alternative livelihood options to the nearby communities.
- A National Green Highway Mission Mobile App was also launched which will enable the government to monitor all the projects.
- A patient who met with a road accident & was declared brain dead got a transplanted brain in 94mins. From Pune to Mumbai via Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
- A heart was transferred to the patients which would have taken 45 minutes but reached 19KM in 19mins in Bengaluru.
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