The length of National Highways has increased by 69% between 2003-04 and 2015-16 with the length doubling in seven states during this period . On the other hand, the total length of railway route in the country increased by a mere 5% during the same period.
New Railway lines & National Highways have always been the most important talking points during any budget. Past data indicates that some states benefited more than the others. In the 13 years between 2003-04 and 2015-16, the length of national highways has increased by 69% while the length of railway route has only increased by 5%.
12 States have more than 3000 Kms each of National Highways
In 2003-04, the total length of national highways in the country was 58115 Kms. The total length increased to 97991 Kms by the end of 2015-16 and is currently more than one lakh kilometres. By the end of 2015-16, twelve (12) states have more than 3000 Kms each of national highways. By the end of 2015-16, Uttar Pradesh has the greatest length of national highways with 8483 Kms, the only state with more than 8000 Kms of national highways. Two other states (Maharashtra & Rajasthan) had more than 7000 Kms each of national highways. The top 10 states in terms of the length of national highways accounted for more than 60% of the total length of national highways in the country.Length of National Highways doubled in 7 States
Between 2003-04 and 2015-16, the length of national highways more than doubled in seven states. Arunachal Pradesh saw the greatest increase of more than 500% during this period followed by Sikkim (398%). Of the bigger states, the increase in the length of national highways was less than 40% in Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Assam.Route Length increased by only 5% in 13 years
The Railway Route kilometres is different from the track length. Route Kilometre is the distance between two points on the Railway irrespective of the number of lines connecting them, whether single line, double line etc. On the other hand, track length is the length of all running tracks.
The total route length in the railways has increased by only 13000 Kms since independence and by only about 3000 Kms between 2003-04 and 2015-16. This is an increase of mere 5% 13 years. Only Uttar Pradesh has a route length of more than 8000 Kms of all the states. Only three other states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra & Gujarat have a route length of more than 5000 Kms. Andhra Pradesh also had a route length of more than 5000 Kms before the bifurcation of the state. Of the bigger states, Kerala has a route length of only 1050 Kms, the lowest of such states. In fact, Kerala & Telangana are the only two states with a railway route length of less than 2000 Kms even with a population of more than 3 crore people. Telangana is the 12th largest in terms of geographical area. Except Assam, the other North-Eastern states together have a route length of only 179 Kms as of 2015-16. Tripura alone accounted for 151 Kms of the 179 Kms. Sikkim & Meghalaya do not have a railway route.
Featured Image: Length of National Highways & Railway routes