4.7 million kilometres. That’s the length of the road network in India. According to the Business Insider, India’s road network is long enough to loop around the Earth over 117 times. And while common facts about this huge network are found all over geography textbooks there are some that leave you amazed. Let’s take a sneak peak!
- Indian highway numbers system : There are over 200 national highways,they consume only 1.7% of all Indian roads. Yet they control 40% of road traffic in the country and did you know that highway numbers can you tell you where they’re going to and coming from: After the rationalizing of the numbering system of highways in 2010, all highways directed from north to south are numbered in even digits and from east to west in odd digits.
- Milestones have a story to tell: You can tell the difference between a National, State or city highway by the colour of the milestones as National Highway milestones are Yellow and White, State are Green and White and city are Black and White.
- The Grand Trunk Road… was not built by Sher Shah Suri. At least not entirely. One of Asia’s first major trade routes, the road was maintained by Chandragupta Maurya and was called Uttarapatha, meaning “northern high road / path” in Sanskrit. Sher Shah Suri revived and extended it in 1500s and when Akbar came to rule, he extended it from Chittagong to Kabul, calling it Sadak-e-Azam. The name Grand Trunk Road was given by the British during colonial rule.
- The Famous Cloverleafs : No its not the one at AIIMS folks, India boasts of the largest cloverleaf flyover in Asia – The Kathipara Junction cloverleaf interchange,sitting pretty amongst bustling Chennai, its not only India’s, but also Asia’s largest flyover of this design.
- We are not in a jam but the Jam! : The one place that draws both ire and awe of drivers travelling westwards from Delhi, also houses Asia’s largest Toll plaza: The 32 lane toll plaza is situated in the Delhi NCR region, on the border of Delhi and Haryana in Gurgaon. It is the biggest in India and has none matching its size in all of Asia.
- The Himalayan corridors : With the Great Himalayas acting as its crowning glory, India operates 7 out of the 9 highest motorable passes which are, the popular Khardung La, Chang La, Dokha La, Marsamik La, Tanglang La, the Mana Pass (which was recently recognized as the highest vehicle accessible pass in the world) and an Indian Army Road west of Mana pass.Built to very high standards,in difficult terrain, these corridors are decked with Road signs that pack a pun – all thanks to Border Roads Org who deliver the message of safe driving with aplomb.
- Above everything else : The longest and a marvel of engineering is the elevated Chennai Port Maduravoyal Expressway.Its 19kms in length.The corridor begins at Chennai Port Gate no. 10 and travels along the bank of the Cooum River till it reaches Koyambedu and further till it reaches Maduravoyal.
- Recycled roads? : Our roads are getting trashier… in the best possible way! Rajagopalan Vasudevan, a chemistry professor from Madurai has developed a technology that uses common plastic litter as a partial replacement for bitumen in asphalt. These cheaper and better quality roads which are more water resistant thanks to all the plastic, already existed in Bengaluru and Jamshedpur before 2015, when the govt. of India declared it mandatory to use plastic waste in construction. Guess we have found the road to less plastic waste in the long run.Interesting facts aside, the country’s have a long winding road to safety. Indian roads have been found to be the most dangerous to drive on in the world.
With an average indian driving close to 20,000 kms a year, Guess it’s time to find a better mantra than good horns, good brakes, and good luck. Tell us in comments your favorite indian road story
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