The National Highways are very important highways which connect Metropolitan cities, State capitals, Ports etc. throughout the country. The length of the National Highways in 1961 was 1,269 km and in 188 A Handbook of Karnataka 1981 it was about 1,968 km. They were under the control of the Central Government previously. Since 1971, the National Highways are maintained by a separate wing of the State PWD, out of the Central funds. As in 1992- 93, there were seven National Highways traversing in the state, with a total length of 1,997 km. It was proposed to declare, another 13 roads with a length of 4,765 km as National Highways. During the last decade, 30 km of the National Highway No.4 has been widened from two lanes to four lanes. About 231 km length of the National Highway nos. 9, 13, 17 and 48 were widened,
from single lane to double. The Kozhikode-Kollegal section passing through Sultan Batheri, Gundlupet, Nanjangud, Mysore, T.Narasipur, Mugur, Uttamballi, and the road between Bangalore-Dindigal via Kanakapura, Halagur, Malavalli, Sattegal, Kollegal, Yelandur, Santhemarahalli and Chamarajanagar in the state were declared as NH-209 and NH-212 respectively on June-July 1999 and the work is in progress. The Government of India has declared the 193 km of Bijapur-Hubli road as the 13th National Highway in the State (NH-218) in October 2000. As a result, as on 2000 March, there were 13 National Highways traversing in the State totaling about 3,524 km. The second phase of Hubli-Dharwad by pass on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis has been completed and commissioned for traffic. Under the Asian Development Loan Assistance, a length of 25 km. of the NH-7 has been taken up for converting it into four lanes (from Bangalore to Tamilnadu border near Hosur). In february 2004, NH-218 has been further extended from Bijapur upto Humnabad (220 kms.) via Jevargi in Gulbarga district. As a result Gulbarga district also figures in the country map of National Highways. Likewise the road linking Gundlupet with NH-212 has also been declared as NH-67 in february 2004. As a result as on 31-03-2005, there were 14 National Highways passing through the State with a road length of 3,973 km excluding the districts of Kodagu and Raichur which are deprived of National Highways, all other districts have National Highways passing through their jurisdictions. The total road length in 1981 was 98,523 km and an account of implementation of several road schemes, it went up to 1,21,266 k m in 1992. The roads which were in charge of P.W.D. increased from 32,177 km in 1956 to 64,628 km in 1981. The quality of the roads maintained by the P.W.D.was also improved. The cement concreted/asphalted road surface which stood at 3,858 km in 1956 increased to 26,022 km in 1979 and was 36,229 during 1992. The length of cement concrete roads has decreased substantially due to its recoating with black topped surface. Unmetalled roads in the control of P.W.D. in 1956 were 2,343 km when compared to 8,935 km in 1966 and during 1992 it was 11,089 km. In addition, 11,089 km roads have been transferred from the control of P.W.D. to the Zilla Parishads (1-4-1987). The Government has retransferred 10,000 km road length from the control of Zilla Parishads to the PWD on 18th February 1992. The aim was to improve Transport and Communications 189 them at the rate of 50 km per Assembly Constituency.
Besides, they are being upgraded into major district roads. For the development of Gulbarga division (Gulbarga, Bellary, Bidar, Raichur and Koppal Districts), roads and bridges are being constructed. During 1990-91 and 1991-92, a sum of Rs. 61.60
lakhs was spent on roads and bridges. In 1990, a scheme for the improvement of roads was launched. Under this programme, a sum of rupees twelve lakhswas spent on road works in each Assembly constituency. An amount of Rs. 867.08 lakhs was spent in 1990-91 and in 1991-92 Rs. 1,694.39 Lakhs.The total road length in the State by 1998 was 1,42,687 km comprising 2,335 km National Highways, 11,037 km State Highways, 28,301 km Major District Roads, 1,644 km Other District Roads, 42,791 km Village Roads,
31,583 km TDB Roads, 9,417 km Irrigation Dept. Roads, 2,582 km Forest Dept. Roads excluding 8,366 km of Municipality Roads and 4,665 km of Grampanchayati Roads. Among them, 97,392 km were surfaced, and others were unsurfaced Roads. The average road length per one lakh population is 288 km and the average road length per sq km is 64 km. These are above the national average of 238.8 km and 61.3 km respectively. During the 8th plan (1992-97), a sum of Rs. 42,717.24 lakhs were spent on laying and improving
of 8,537 km, asphalting 3,321 km of roads and building 1,323 major and minor Bridges within the State. During the 9th plan, a sum of Rs. 953 crores has been provided for construction, improvement and maintenance of roads and bridges in the state. During the year 2000, 72 roads and 17 bridges were completed with NABARD assistance. The government has signed with the Kalyani groups of India for the construction of Bangalore-Mysore Express Highway to be executed by the Kalyani Group of Companies on its own
investment, to be maintained for 30 years, handing it over in motorable condition to the State Government after recouping the expenditure incurred along with profit by way of toll fixed in consent with the State Government at regular intervals. As on December 2004, the total road length in the State was 1,44,130 km. comprising 3,973 Km of National Highways, 17,252 Km State Highways, 30,647 Km Major District Roads, 1620 Km of Other District Roads, 48,148 Km of Village Roads and 42,490 Km of Other Roads with an average of 246 Km Road length per one lakh population and an average road length of 70 km per 100 Sq. Km area NH-4 which falls under the Golden Quadrilateral Highway Project and NH 7 which come under the North the South Corridor Project of 6 lanes, planned at National level and being executed through National Highway Authority,
(NHAI) is under progress in the State.
For providing accessibility to villages, Integrated Comprehensive Rural Communication Programme was started in 1972-73. An amount of Rs. 9.63 crore was spent in the Sixth Plan period, for constructing about 1,803 km new roads. Between 1985-86 to 1991-92, an amount of Rs.1.60 crore was incurred for constructing 77 km of roads and some other Master Plan Rural Roads (1st Phase C.D. Works). Besides this, Minimum Needs Programme was started during 1974-75 and a sum of Rs. 53.77 crores was spent for connecting 1,398 villages with all-weather approach roads from 1974-75 to 1991-92. Till the end of 1991-92, the villages linked with All-weather roads were 12,649. It constitutes 47% of the total inhabited villages in the State numbering 27,028. As many as 6,747 villages were provided with Fair Weather Roads and 7,433 with Katcha roads which accounted for 25% and 27% respectively. The rest of the 199 villages were without approach roads. The Halli Heddari scheme was started in 1984-85. Under this scheme, till the end of 1991-92, 167 villages having a population of less than 1000 were provided with all-weather roads. The expenditure incurred was Rs. 827.26 lakhs. The scheme of approach roads to colonies of the Scheduled Castes was launched in 1983-84. A sum of Rs. 37.13 crores were spent from 1983-84 to 1991-92, for constructing about 2,099 km. road length. Construction of roads under people’s participation was launched in 1986-87, to give high priority to the rural road works which have local people’s participation. The Zilla Parishads also executing this programme. During 1987-88 to 1991-92 about 113 km. village limit roads were constructed/improved and an amount of Rs. 161.53 lakhs were spent. By 2000 among the 27,066 inhabitated villages in the State, 15,800 villages have All-weather roads, 8,026 villages have Fair weather roads, and 3137 villages have Katcha roads and the remaining 103 villages were not connected by any roads as such. By 2004, almost all the villages in the State are connected by approach roads.
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