In terms of road network, India is the second largest country in the world (next to USA) having a stretch of 33,13,739 km. The rural roads run for 26,50,000 km (80%), major district roads cover 4,70,000 KM (14%), the various State Highways and National Highways travel 1,28,000 km (4%) and 65,569 km (2%), respectively. Surprisingly, the government statistics say that 40% of the road traffic runs on the 2% stretch of National Highway road network. Thus, a great care and attention is given to develop the National Highways to International Standards. A whopping two lakh crores of rupees have been allocated to develop the Highway Road Network during the 11th Five Year Plan.
It has been well recognized by all sections of society in India that the road network is the backbone of a nation and speaks about the degree of development of a Country. Hence, a lot of care has been taken by the Government and NHAI to substantially improve the road network. Keeping in view the fact that on an average about 75,000 people fall prey to road accidents, the government has formed a high-powered committee to study and recommend ways and means and the standards for building roads. Equally important is the sense of responsibility among people using the multi-track, high- speed roads. The government is also planning to educate through NGOs, the people in the villages adjoining the highways on specific issues such as giving training on first-aid trauma care to people falling in accidents, not to damage the sign boards, not to obstruct the last moving traffic, to use by-pass roads to cross highways etc.
Laying a road is no more a crude technology. A lot of modern and electronic technology has come to be used in road construction. A road should ensure free flow of traffic with speed, safety and smoothness. Traffic bottlenecks, congestions, vehicle pollution and accidents should be avoided. Amenities on long stretches should be provided, which include hospital services, refueling, rest rooms, phone facilities, repair stations, food courts and small provisions.
The Electronic Intelligent Transport System introduced by NHAI in phased manner will help the commuters on the National Highways in several ways, through its various components. Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), Advanced Traveller Information System (ATIS), Advanced Vehicle Control System (AVCS), Commercial Vehicle Operation (CVO), Public Transport Management (PTM), Toll Collection System (TCS), Safety and Security System, so on and so forth. For example, under TCS, the vehicles need not stop at the Toll Gates -- the sensors at the Toll Gates read the electronic gadgets fixed on the vehicle and sends automatic signals to the bank account of the vehicle owner to debit with the charges! The AVCS helps to find out if a vehicle is overloaded by reading the weight falling on its axils, while the vehicle is running. ATMS helps the driver to know the traffic condition a few kilometers ahead.