Indian roadways and employment generation

According to government data, India has about 3.5 million kilometers of unsurfaced (unpaved) and surfaced roads, which is inadequate if India is to be a developed country.

France for an area of 550,000 sq. km (metropolitan France) has road length of about 950,000 km. India for an area of about 3,300,000 sq. km should have about 5.7 million km of roads. If population is taken into consideration, France for a population of about 65 million has 950,000 km roads. India for a population of 1,100 million should have a road length of 16 million km.

Germany for an area of 357,000 sq.km has road length of 656000 km. India, at this rate, should have 5.7 million km of roads. If Germany, with a population of 83 million, has road length of 656000 km, India, with a population of 1,100 million, should have road length of about 8.7 million km.

Japan for an area of 378,000 sq. km has about 1.19 million km long roadways. India, at this rate, should have about 10 million km roads. Japan has a population of 127 million while India has a population of 1,165 million i.e. about 9 times; so India’s roadways should be greater than 10 million km.

Compared to most developed countries, India’s roadways are small. It needs to be expanded to at least 5.5 million km. Further, in India the roadways mostly comprise one or two lanes. So these roadways should be widened to 2 to 4 lanes.

On an average laying of one km of two-lane road would provide work for 100 persons for about a year (direct as well as indirect employment). For the additional 2 million km of roads, employment generation would be 200 million for a year which means, there would be acute shortage of manpower, considering that railways also need to be expanded.

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