It and 87 per cent of passenger traffic
It was named as Grand Trunk (GT) Road and joined Amritsar with Kolkata after partition. Presently it is known as Sher Shah Suri Marg. The roads are of two types according to their strength and make up: surfaced and unsurfaced. The best roads are the surfaced roads also called the metalled roads. India has one of the largest road networks in |the world.
The country’s road network consists of National Highways, State Highways, Major/other district roads and village/rural roads. Of these, National and state Highways which are around 2,24,556 km in length, occupy a pre-eminent position as nearly 60 per cent of the freight and 87 per cent of passenger traffic move on them. More than half of the metalled roads are in the Peninsular India where the old hard rock’s facilitate the building of such roads.
Maharashtra in this region is the leading State in road length. Here the roads measure 2,71,684 km. Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu rank after Maharashtra with, 148303 km and 140414 kms roads respectively.
For administrative purposes Indian roads are categorised as (i) National Highways, (ii) State Highways (iii) District Roads, (iv) Village Roads (v) Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and (vi) International Highways.
(i) National Highway:
The Central government is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the national highway system totalling a lenght of 70,934 km. Government is carrying out development and maintenance work of National Highway through three agencies viz. National Highway Authority of India PWD.
(ii) State Highways:
Since the State Highways and District and rural Roads are under the responsibility of State Governments, these are developed and maintained by various agencies in States and Union Territories.
Roads are also being developed in rural areas under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The objective of the PMGSY is to link all villages with a population of more than 500 with all- weather roads by the year 2007. The States are also assisted through financial assistance from the Central Road fund for development of selected roads which are of Inter-State and economic importance.
(iii) District Roads:
They form the link between headquarters of neighbouring districts and connect areas of production and market with either a highway or a railway within the boundaries of the district. Their total length is above six lakh km.
(iv) Village Roads:
The village roads connect the village with the neighbouring towns and cities. They are constructed and maintained under the supervision of Panchayats on the behalf of State government. They are developed under the minimum needs programme.
(v) Border Roads Organisations (BRO):
Border Roads Organisation is a road construction executive force partly integral to and in support of the Army. It started operation in May 1960 with just two projects -Project Tusker (Nartak) in the east and Project Beacon in the West. It is now grown into a 13-project executive force, supported by a well-organised recruiting/training centre and two well-equipped base workshops for overhaul of plant/equipment and two Engineer Store Depots for inventory Management.
The BRO has not only linked the border areas of the north and north-east with the rest of the country, but has also developed the road infrastructure in Bihar, Maharashra, Karnatka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, the Andaman &Nicobar Islands, Uttranchal and Chattigarh.
(vi) The International Highways:
Connect the cities in the neighbouring countries and they are constructed jointly by the countries concerned. After independence nationalisation of road transport has been a priority. Majority of the States and Union Territories of India have nationalised the passenger transport to varying degrees. Private sector also operates passenger transport.
The limited number of private operators in transport of passengers is allowed and they are regulated through the permit system. As far as goods transport is concerned, it is mainly in the hand of the private companies or individual operators. The road transport for the long distance freight traffic has also increased over the period. This is due to faster movement of freight and the personal care which can be provided by the road transport.
The roads and railways have maximum developed in the plains of north India and in this region they compete for passengers as well as freight traffic. The introduction of permit system in road traffic especially the goods transport was aimed at reducing this competition in favour of the railways. According to a study there is further need to have 15766 km. of Expressways network by the year 2020 of which a length of 4885 km needs to be added by 2005 on a priority basis.
(vii) Border Roads Organisation:
The Border Roads Organization (BRO) was conceived and raised in the year 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the great visionary and the first Prime Ministry of India. This was done with the aim of co-ordinating the speedy development of network of roads in the North and the North Eastern border regions of the country.
An expressway is a controlled-access highway; it is a highway 7 that controls entrances to it and exits from it by incorporating the design of the slip roads for entry and exit into the design of the highway itself. Access-control should not be confused with collection of toll. An expressway may be free to use and may not collect toll at all. Expressways are the highest class of roads in the Indian Road Network.
These are six or eight lane highways with controlled-access. India has approximately 600 km expressways. Expressways make up approximately 600 km (370 mi) of India’s road network, as of 2011.
These high-speed roads are four-lane or six-lane, predominantly access controlled. Eastern and Western Express Highways in Mumbai are two examples of such roads. Ambala-Chandigarh NH is another such example as it does not have access control for entry and exit at predetermined points. As stated above, access-control is different from collection of toll.
i. Mumbai Pune Expressway:
The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is India’s first six-lane, concrete, high-speed, tolled, access-controlled, 93 km (58 mi) long expressway. It connects Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, to the neighbouring educational and information technology-oriented city of Pune.
ii. Ahmedabad Vadodara Expressway:
It is also known as National Expressway 1 (India). It was originally planned during the 1970s, but was delayed for decades due to land-usage and political issues. These issues were resolved in the 1990s, and the expressway opened in 2004. The expressway cuts the journey between the two cities to less than 1 hour.
iii. Delhi Gurgaon Expressway:
This eight-lane expressway opened in January 2008 and is part of Golden Quadrilateral highway project. It is 28 km (17 mi) long and was expected to reduce travel time between Gurgaon and Delhi from upwards of 60 minutes to approximately 20 minutes.
iv. Noida Greater Noida Expressway:
Connects Noida, a residential and industrial suburb of Delhi to Greater Noida, a still newer suburb. The total length of the expressway is 24.53 km (15.24 mi). It is under expansion to Taj Economic Zone, International Airport and Aviation Hub proposed to be constructed along the Taj Expressway. The objectives of the proposed expressway are as follows:
v. Delhi Noida Direct Flyway:
Is an eight-lane, 9.2 km (5.7 mi) km access controlled tolled expressway which connects Delhi with Noida. It was built under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (boot) model. The project included the construction of a flyover at Ashram Chowk. The other major part of the project was the cbnstruction of a 552.5 m (1,313 ft) bridge over the Yamuna River. This bridge, which was estimated to cost 408 crore (US$89.8 million).
vi. Jaipur Kishangarh Expressway:
Is 90 km (56 mi) long and part of six-lane NH8?
vii. Durgapur Expressway:
Is 65 km (40 mi) long,  linking Dankuni with Memari on Grand Trunk Road, now allows fast communication between Kolkata and Durgapur.
viii. Belghoria Expressway:
Through Nivedita Bridge is completed Dum Dum Airport will be 20-25 minutes from Dankuni.
ix. Panipat Elevated Expressway:
Six-lane 10 km (6.2 mi) expressway is expected to decongest the busy Delhi-Amritsar route. The Panipat Expressway is an uplift of National Highway 1.
x. Kona Expressway:
Is ‘8 km (5.0 mi) long and serves as cut-offs and provides easier access to Kolkata from NH-2.
xi. Hosur Road Elevated Expressway:
Is a 9.985 km (6.204 mi) kilometers (6 mi) long elevated, tolled, access controlled expressway in the city of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. The project is a part of the BETL (Bangalore Elevated Tollways Ltd), project as part of the National Highways Development Project and the Elevated Highways Project. It was initiated in early 2006, and was inaugurated on 22 January 2010.
xii. Hyderabad Elevated Expressways:
The 11.6 km (7.2 mileong elevated expressway connects Mehdipatnam in the city to Aramgarh Junction on the National Highway-7 leading to the Hyderabad International Airport at Shamshabad 
xiii. Chennai Bypass Expressway:
Is a fully access-controlled expressway that interconnects four radial Indian National Highways around Chennai, India covering a distance of 32 km (20 mi)? Constructed as part of the National Highway Development Project to decongest the city of transiting vehicles, the expressway interconnects NH45, NH4, NH205 and NH5. This expressway now forms a part of the circular transportation corridor.
The Golden Quadrilateral is a highway network connecting India’s four largest metropolises: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, thus forming a quadrilateral of sorts. Four other top ten metropolises: Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Surat, are also served by the network. The largest highway project in India, initiated by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it is the first phase of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).
In January 2012, India announced the four lane GQ highway network as complete. The 5,846 km (3,633 mi) of highway connects many of the major industrial, agricultural and cultural centers of India. India’s government had initially estimated that the Golden Quadrilateral project would cost Rs 60,000 crore at 1999 prices. However, the highway has been built under-budget.
As of August 2011, cost incurred by Indian government was about half of initial estimate, at Rs 30,858 crore. The eight contracts in progress, as of August 2011, were worth Rs 1,634 crore. The GQ project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.
The GQ project establishes better and faster transport networks between many major cities and ports. It provides an impetus-to smoother movement of products and people within India. It enables industrial and job development in smaller towns through access to markets. It provides opportunities for farmers through better transportation of produce from the agricultural hinterland to major cities and ports for export.
North-South and East-West Corridor:
The North-South-East-West Corridor (NS-EW) is the largest ongoing highway project in India. It is the second phase of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP), and consists of building 7300 kilometers of four/six lane expressways connecting Srinagar, Kanyakumari, Porbandar and Silchar, at a cost of US $ 12.317 billion (at 1999 prices).
As of September 2010, 5258 of 7300 km project has been completed in combination with India’s Golden Quadrilateral, and port connectivity highways, NS-EW Corridor forms a key part of Indian highway network connecting many of its important manufacturing, commerce and cultural centers.
As of October 2011, India has completed and placed in use some 14000 kilometers of such 4-lane highways. The NS-EW project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.