India had a network of roads in the ancient times.
The excavation of the Mohn-Jodaro and Harappa civilization shows the traces of the roads in the ancient Indian times, in a period f 35th to 25th B.C.
The Aryan Period and Road Construction:
There are various scriptures available, which script about the road development in India in the Aryan period. "Arthashastra" written by Kautilya (Chanakya), the prime minister of the Chandra Gupta Mourya, discusses the rules laid down for the depth of the road construction for different purposes in the 4th century.
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Mughal period and Road construction:The Mughal and Pathans improved the quality of the roads in India. Sher Shah Suri is still remembered for the construction of the Grand Trunk Road(GT Road) from Bangladesh-India to Kabul in Afghanistan.
19th Century and Road Construction in India:After the fall of the Mughal Empire in India in 19th century the Britishers participated in the road construction for the military and administrative purposes.
The work was carried out by the British Military Engineers. Railway was introduced later but the existing roads were metaled and bridges were provided. The governor general of India i.e. Lord Dalhousie in the mid of 19th century introduced the PWD(Public works department), which still runs the various public works in India.
The committee was formed by the both chambers of the Indian Legislature in the year 1927 to examine the roads in the India and ways of their development. The number of vehicles on the Indian roads increased after the first world war, so it was felt necessary to develop a good network of the roads in India.
Indian Road development committee was formed in the year 1927, with M.R.Jayakar as its chairman. The committee submitted its report in the year 1928, and made some important recommendations:
- An extra tax should be put on the petrol consumers to develop a road development fund, called the Central Road Fund.
- A semi-official body should be formed to pool technical ideas, knowledge from the various parts of the country and to act as an advisory body on various aspects of roads.
- A research organisation should be organised to carry out the research and development work.
- Central Road Fund (1929):
- Indian Roads Congress (1934):
- Motor vehicle act(1939):
- Central Road Research Institute(1951):
- First 20-years road plan(Nagpur Road Plan-1943 to 1963):
|A typical hill road (Ghaghas to Shimla- Himachal Pradesh) - in 2013|
- Second 20-years road plan(Bombay Road Plan- 1961 to 1981):