Highways - The lifeline of India

By Unknown → Sunday, 5 February 2017
The Golden Quadrilateral

The Golden Quadrilateral is in one way or another, is the lifeline of the transport sector and for the Indian economy. Basically, it is a highway network, forming a quadrilateral joining the four major hubs of India namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. It also connects other metropolises like Guntur, Vijayawada, Nellore, Surat, Pune, Kanpur, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, etc. It is also sometimes referred as North-South East-West Corridor.
The Golden Quadrilateral

The project took 11 years to complete under the management of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). It was a visionary project started by the government seeing the profitable future and advancement for the transport sector. Started in 2001, it completed in the year 2011. The Golden quadrilateral is technically four six lane highways connecting four metropolitan cities of India.

The Blueprint of Golden Quadrilateral

Initially the project was allocated the amount of INR 600 Billion, but it was completed at nearly INR 300 Billion. Hence, the originally planned four lane highways, was expanded to six lane highways for better future.
The Golden Quadrilateral has a lot of benefit for the advancement of the economy of the country. It helps the faster delivery of goods and services to the destination, which will speed up the manufacturing and retails processes. It ensures smooth movements of the products over the places. Wherever GQ passes it created opportunities for jobs and development due to presence of heavy traffics. It also helped farmers from remote locations to transport their products to the bigger market, into the cities where they get good price for the products. It proved to be an ideal for truck transport sector. The trucks drivers now can supply goods and services from factories or industries of towns from the south India, to remote location of north India with ease. They can get the national permit for the vehicles and can transport goods and services to any part of the country.
The transport service from remote locations also grew with the presence of GQ. The people from the places near to the GQ now have faster and easier method to travel to the bigger cities for bigger market. Even including the transporting fares, the profit now they make are substantial.

The National Highways

The network of national highways in India is around 100.000 kilometers. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is responsible for the development of the highways of India. It was under established under the act of parliament right after the independence. Connecting the East-West-North-South along with the far North East this is longest 4-6 lanes roads in India. These National Highways are directly or indirectly the backbone of the economy of India. For the transportation of the goods and services, processed items, agricultural products, seafood, perishable and non-perishable items, trucks, freights, tempos, lorries, use the National highways to reach the destination easily. With the quality of road regularly maintained under the guidance of NHAI, the transportation in these roads are smooth and simple. Hospitals, fuel centers, eateries, etc., are located at regular distances for making the journey of the people easier.
The National Highway 1

As the traffic at some areas with dense population, accumulates all the time, bypasses are being developed and maintained by the authority to keep the highways free from traffic. Even then, at some places the traffic continue to accumulate. To cope with this, flyovers and dual carriageways at places are developed. This in one hand reduces the traffic and direct them to the direction without the use of roundabouts, and at the other hand, utilizes the available space optimally.
Mainly the truckers prefer to supply goods to the places connected with the highway. It is much easier and accessible for the transportation sector. This is the only reason that the places that have good connectivity, become the hub of the market and business.
Interestingly, India has world’s second highest altitude motor highway, the Leh Manali Highway connecting Shimla to Leh in Kashmir.

To generate revenue from the highways, the toll booths are situated to collect toll tax at some portions of the highways. These portions are very well maintained by the authorities. The tax is collected on the basis of commercial and non-commercial vehicles and the amount and quantity of the goods they are carrying. The generated revenue is directly used for the maintenance of the highways and providing services like pulling van or for the vehicles in case of some accidents.
The Zoji Pass

The highways are also the source of income for the people of remote locations, from where the highways pass. They run small or middle level business like restaurants, vehicle repairing shops, fuel stations, parking lots, night staying places for truckers, etc. These businesses are evergreen because the transportation of goods and services via the highways never stops. This also provides employment for the people of remote locations and is becoming a big opportunity for them to earn livelihood.
Hence, it can be concluded that highways are in true sense are the backbone of the economy. The transportation sector, if stopped for one day, can cause loss to the economy of the nation in crores. That being said, the highways, if maintained and provided good support, can increase the transportation capacity and hence will further add up the profit to the economy. Connecting the state highways to the national highways, and developing the state highways to meet up the quality of their national counterpart should the next thing in line for the authorities.
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