The giant highway project merged seven smaller national highways to become the National Highway 44, extending from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, the longest in the country. The total length of the road is 3,806 km and is often dubbed as the north-south corridor. Starting from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the highway covers Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
How Did The Project Begin?
In 1988, construction for the Golden Quadrilateral project was started to connect the metropolitan cities in India, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. All the old and smaller highways were upgraded for the emerging project. After that, two significant projects named the North-South corridor and the East-West corridor was undertaken. Like the Golden quadrilateral project, all the old two or four-lane highways were upgraded to four, six and eight lanes in the road projects that connected the country's northern tip to the southernmost city and the Westernmost city to North-East.
National Highway Project NH-44 would provide an all-weather-connectivity from Jammu to the Kashmir valley. It will also reduce the journey time from Jammu to Srinagar and strategic border areas in the State of J&K. Moreover, implementation of the project would result in the development of basic infrastructure in the region, which would ultimately lead to the overall economic development of the areas of the State. Over the last two decades, the Indian automobile market has experienced a paradigm shift, and roads are the most basic infrastructure that the public expects from the government.
Second-Largest Road Network In India
India has the second-largest road network in the world that spans over more than 5.89 million kilometres. The Indian Road network is responsible for transporting more than 64.5 per cent of the country's trade, and nearly 90 percent of the passenger traffic uses the road route for the commute. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is entrusted with maintaining the road network, including the national highways.
Several activists and environmental bodies have slammed the NHAI for disturbing the ecological balance for constructing mammoth road projects across several states. While one cannot undermine the environmental concerns, we cannot also ignore how important connectivity is in the 21st century. Therefore, government bodies would be much more appreciated if they came up with sustainable, modern and developmental projects to aid the country's overall development.