The Central government is mulling to convert 10,000km stretch of state highways into national highways. Only time will say that plan will get materialized as many ambitious projects in the country are still in limbo. However, it is now a fact that good highways give pace to the development of economy and bring prosperity to the areas, but it is an irony that the construction of roads and their maintenance are not attached importance, while there is a separate ministry for it. Regarding road projects, the Prime Minster, who recently reviewed the work of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), called spade a spade that slackness would not be tolerated in this context and there would be no compromise on the quality of national highways. Union Surface and Transport Minister C P Joshi expressed his displeasure over the working of NHAI and batted for organizational improvement. It is disappointing that working style of NHAI is not impressive.

The nub of the problem is the construction of highways at a snail’s pace as well as upkeep of roads is being not done properly. There are so many highways which have been in dilapidated conditions after mere three years of their construction. Some highways are national though, they witness huge traffic jam. Another big problem is increasing number of toll booths on the highways. At some stretch, every 50-60 km has a toll collection booth. It is fair that roads are made on large scale with public-private partnership, but it does not mean that toll booths should abound on highways. There is an urgent need to explore the solution to it. There are umpteenth road projects pending owing to redtapism and dilly-dallying attitude of officials that need to be dropped in order to expedite the constructions of roads. When roads are considered to be the path of development, the government should attach top priority to them. It is surprising that India is getting lesson in all sectors from the world, but the country does not show that much keenness in road constructions.