Trends and Patterns of Road Infrastructure in India, 1971-2011
Roads are the key to the development of an economy. A good road network constitute the basic infrastructure that propels the development process through connectivity and opening up of the backward regions to trade and investment. In this paper, an attempt has been made to analyze the road infrastructure in India at the district level for three reference periods i.e. 1971, 1991 and 2011. The base of the study is secondary data obtained from directorate of economic and statistics of individual state/UT and Census of India, Delhi. The road infrastructure has been assessed in term of road length in relation to geographic area and per size of population. In order to find out the extent and magnitude of the disparity in existing road infrastructure Z-score and Co-efficient of variation techniques have been employed. It has been investigated that the road length has increased from 23.75 kms in 1971 to 142.68 kms per 100 sq km in 2011 and thus witnessed about six times increase during last 40 years. Similarly, the availability of roads per 10,000 of population also increased from 14.24 kms in 1971 to 38.14 kms in 2011. The study reveals the prevalence of inter-regional or inter-districts disparities in availability of roads both in terms of area and population at the district level. The coastal and northern plain of India are sufficiently endowed with the road infrastructure whereas these facilities are wanting very much in the mountainous area, desert and peninsular part of the study area. Furthermore, the study stressed that the widening inter-district disparities in level of road infrastructure both in terms of geographical area and per size of population needs closer attention of development planners and policy makers.
Key Words: Road Length, Area, Population, Trends, Patterns
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