Salient Features of Indian Road Network and Highways

In India

About 65% of freight and 80% passenger traffic is carried by the roads.

  • National Highways constitute only about 1.7% of the road network but carry about 40% of the total road traffic.
  • Number of vehicles has been growing at an average pace of 10.16% per annum over the last five years. About 65% of freight and 80% passenger traffic is carried by the roads.
  • National Highways constitute only about 1.7% of the road network but carry about 40% of the total road traffic.
  • Number of vehicles has been growing at an average pace of 10.16% per annum over the last five years.

India has the second largest road network in the world, with over 3.314 million kms of roadways spread across the length and breadth of the country. The roads are primarily made of bitumen, with some Indian National Highways having concrete roads. The concept of expressway roads is also catching up in India, and the Mumbai – Pune expressway and Delhi Gurgaon expressway are the finest examples. Yamuna-expressway which connects Delhi to Agra is also good.

The history of roads in India takes you back to the Indus Valley Civilization, where street pavings were made for the first time in India. Around the 1st centuy, the Silk route was made which tremendously aided in trade across India. The medieval India saw the emergence of the Grand Trunk Road. The GT Road, as it is famously called, starts in Sonargaon near Dhaka in Bangladesh and ends at Peshawar in Pakistan and links some of the major cities in india from Kolkata to Amritsar.

The Indian roadways network ranks as the second biggest roadways network in the world. The road network of the country covers more than 2.059 million miles or 4.42 million kilometers. For every sq km of land, there is 0.66 km of highways in the country.

The density of the highway network of India is somewhat more as compared to the United States (0.65) and substantially higher as compared to Brazil (0.20) and China (0.16).!!!!

Previously, India did not had funds fori ts road network. However, the scenario has changed in the past decades. The Government of India in collaboration with a number of private players is taking groundbreaking endeavours for the road transportation system of the nation.

Till date, some of the important plans that have been put into operation include names like the Yamuna Expressway, National Highways Development Project, and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

According to the data furnished in 2002, just 47.3% of the Indian roadways network comprised paved roads.

Links,Inspitrations and Sources:

  • Sunworld vandita yamuna expressway (
  • India’s top 10 Super Expressways (
  • Indian Scientists Propose Solar Roofs For Roads (
  • Increasing Demand for Flexible Workspace Takes Regus Network Past the 1,500 mark (
  • First Aid posts for Expressway (
  • Road Ministry puts focus on meeting 3,000-km target (

About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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6 Responses to Salient Features of Indian Road Network and Highways

  1. Syed Rizvi says:

    Rashid, your blog on roads is very illuminating. It provokes two lines of thought-first, how do each of the bullets match up with percentage of road accidents/fatalities related to it? and second,how does the road traffic growth compare with train traffic/air traffic? Only a voracious reader and avid researcher can come up with the answers!


  2. Abdul Jabbar Khan says:

    The density of Indian highways of 0.66 as compaired to US of 0.65 does not mean that India has more highway kms. It depends upon the available area to build a highway e.g. mountains or other rugged terrain. Beside this US has four times more area as compared to India.


    • I think you are right.
      Welcome to my Blog.
      Keep visiting and contribute
      I would appreciate if you take some time to write for the site. Your knowledge and expertise will be helpful for readers.


  3. Anamul Haque says:

    Rashid sab, I hope you are aware and would like to inform visitors of your page, that our highway stats and transport infrastructure scenario are not all green, as often seems to be from national perspectives. There are a variety of politics around them as well. One region badly in need to attention is the southern part of north-east India, comprising of North Cachar Hills, three districts of Barak Valley viz. Cachar, Hailakandi & Karimganj and the two states of Mizoram and Tripura. NH-44 from Shillong(Meghalaya) to Agartala(Tripura) has become so bad due to complete absence of maintenance over last decade that it sometime takes more than 20 hours for a trip from Karimganj to Guwahati, a distance of about 400Kms. Rail guage conversion to broad guage from Lumding to Silchar and upto Tripura & Mizoram, approved in 1997, are yet to see light of the day. Going by the pace, another decade may be short of time for completion of this project. Life of the mass in these regions have became almost a hell.


  4. Pingback: Condition of National Highways of India: National Highway 93 | Rashid's Blog

  5. Pingback: List of National Highways in India With Length | Rashid's Blog

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