Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The new age of expressways in India

For 50 years, Indian politicians have been talking only of highways and expressways, but not one had courage to show it in reality. It finally took an 80 year old PM - The great VAJPAYEE not just to conceive an idea, but to put on ground. It was in 1999 when Vajpayee activated  the sleeping National Highways Authority of India - an autonomous body to build  highways and expressways connecting the 4 metros (GOLDEN QUADRILATERAL) and connecting North South-EAST-WEST (N.S.E.W Corridor). He appointed B.C Khanduri. With a record speed like that of Cyclone Nargis, he brought the Golden Quadrilateral Project to 95% completion. Hats off...Even when bureaucrats, real estate, landowners all protested, Vajpayee pressurized Khanduri to work at any cost to completion.

Now the total project is 96% complete with Kolkata-Chennai and Delhi-Kolkatta short of 100%. The Delhi-Mumbai is 100% complete and is operational. This is real...No empty speech, no drama, no vision...REALITY ...It now takes 17 hrs straight non stop by road from Mumbai to Delhi. Of course some parts are still with patches and left overs. Some places repair work is going on. Although I have not travelled on this road, at least the impression I get from reading several articles written by people themselves is that almost 100% is complete. At the same time the North South East West Corridor is just 20% complete. The current UPA govt is going too slow on this. Today to finish that 4% of Golden Quadrilateral, Congress Govt is struggling. With an economist as PM, he is way below VAJPAYEE....

Truly an old man that took India into a new century...

Let's look at Delhi-Mumbai
First this is Delhi-Jaipur...

Check out the videos on IBNLive...The most famous TV News channel in India whose reporters travelled on these roads

This article appeared on new York Times where a reporter went on road travelling through all the new roads. The article also has an interactive slide show and picture gallery

Here's link from wikipedia which states completed roads.

Now look at this map from wiki. It shows the satellite view. The complete route map i.e places where this Delhi_mumbai expressway goes is like this:

Here's a list of feebacks given by a team of car drivers and bikers:
Link2 gives a pictorial view of roads as a family on a picnic on this road describe their journey

The guy says "The roads are in excellent condition. We both manage to keep consistently high speeds. She sticks to 90-95 km/hr. I hover around 110-115."


This article says that vehicle tracking system has been deployed in Delhi-Jaipur highway

This is another article where a person says that Delhi-Jaipur is extraordinarily good whereas Delhi-Haridwar is atrocious

As further evidence, I asked my dad as he recently travelled on this Delhi-Jaipur. Even he said it is beautiful and one can zip at a high speed.

This is another answer given. It also says how much toll the guy paid while travelling on this expressway from Mumbai to Delhi

This is another website wherein people are discussing how were the road from Mumbai to Delhi

In short this is what he says:
"NH8 from Bombay to Baroda, NE1 (expressway) from Baroda to Ahmedabad, NH8 from Ahmedabad to Udaipur, GQ road from Udaipur to Kishangarh via Chittorgarh and Bhilwara, and NH8 from there on via Jaipur. Road is double road all the way except for a small stretch approaching Chittorgarh town. Road cxonditions are fantastic barring the Surat-Baroda stretch where road widening/ flyover construction work is on, meaning traffic jams at specifc points (Surat bypass, Ankleshwar town, Baroda bypass) and slower speeds. Facilities are fantastic, petrol stations, food and other facilities. My best speed from Bombay to Delhi (leaving 3 am) is 17 hours non-stop. If you wish to avoid night driving and and are a moderate driver with food halts en route, assume that you could do Bombay-Udaipur comfortably on Day 1 (Udaipur pereferred for better hotel choices) and Day 2 will see you comfortably in Delhi by late afternoon. gd1418, while you suggestion is all the way on NH8, the GQ route from Udaipur to Kishangarh viua Chittorgarh and Bhilwara is faster and better compared to teh conventional NH8 option via Bhim, Beawar and Ajmer. All major and minor towns are bypassed, except a small portion (happily, no congestion) of Chittrgarh town. Of special note are the Ahmedabad bypasses (turn off before the end of expressway into Sardar Patel Ring Road) and teh Jaipur bypass, both of which give you an extra 30-60 minutes."

A part of this beautiful NH-8 passing through Gujarat is Ahmedabad-Vadodara. It used to take 2.5 hrs. Now it is 1 hr. It was opened in 2004. Here's the Times of India article confirming this

This road is also showed in IBN Live videos whose link is given above.

Now, from Mumbai to Pune is the most beautiful road ever made in India.Here's the Wikipedia link on details and distances of this magnificent highway.
Here's the pic below

Supposedly the best road ever made in India so far. This was done by Nitin Gadkari of BJP in 1999. This led to Vajpayee's grand plan. It's almost 10 years now...The road is doing great...

Now come down further south...Mumbai-Bangalore roads have also been completed, yet some patches are to be completed. Now Bangalore-Chennai road I traveled last year when I went with my family in August. Here's the pic from wiki:

This road I have seen it in 2004 when Vajpayee lost elections and I went to Chennai with my friends. The condition was the same even in 2007 when I went to India. Beautiful and wide.

Now, I believe Chennai to Vishakapatnam and from Vishakapatnam to Kolkata is 90% complete. While Delhi-Kolkata is 95% complete. The main problem is in U.P, Jharkahand and Bihar where problems exist with respect to land acquistion.

However, look at Delhi-Gurgaon, Delhi-Noida, Noida-Greater Noida roads. Another marvellous example.

Note Delhi-Guragon has 32 Lane Toll Plaza...Unbelievable.

Here's a picture: It is another story that 32 lanes are not sufficient.


In fact in selected wikipedia sources, you will find that several of these highways don't allow 2 wheelers, animals. They have built fences. Also, in many of them there are SOS Calls every 2 km and other such amenities. In fact I do have even more pictures in India from India Today and Outlook.

Further, we have lots of projects coming up. The latest one being Taj Expressway connecting Balia to other Ghaziabad -1000km under Mayawati.

Now coming to the list of contractors. Check out and it gives you a list of it.


Anonymous said...

See Please Here

AB said...

Indian highways are indeed better than where they were many years ago, which was non-existent. However, while traveling the width and breadth of the country, one cannot but question the logic of the planners... Firstly, two lanes in each direction, while arguably better than none, are far from what is needed for traffic load that India has and will have in the future. What's more, invariably one of the lanes is occupied by broken down trucks, trucks simply stopping, people, animals, etc etc. Also, what is the logic of having the NHs passing through the center of each town? It only serves to slow down the journey and create havoc. Could the highways not have bypassed these towns and villages?
Anyway, yes, progress, but a much better job could have been done. Pity.

srinathkr said...

hi anjan,

nice info. sent good number of photos. that's fine.

see my blog also.