India, with 5,472,144 kilometres, had the second largest road network in the world by the end of FY16. Though the country has done remarkably well on road construction, some of it has happened with little planning. There are many examples of lax planning that one can find across India—lack of pedestrian paths across the country and Bus Rapid Transit System in Delhi are a few cases. But, a Times of India report highlights that India may soon be moving towards a workable solution. A constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), is going to embark on a plan to create a mapping and planning structure for roads in India. Basically the manual, which is in the draft stage, will lay down the characteristics of types of road, carrying capacity and augmentation plan, which will help build better roads, intersections and pathways.
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While this is not the first attempt at creating an indigenous road plan— Indian Roads Congress had laid down rules in 1990 for mapping of roads and planning of intersections—these were seldom considered. Moreover, being directly substituted from Western countries, they were not regarded by experts as apt for Indian conditions. With growing urban population and the number of cars expected to increase—India sells approximately 2.8 million cars each year and this is expected to double to 5 million by 2020, making the country fourth largest automobile market—the country would require a well planned infrastructure. Just more roads, flyover and highways would not do the job, there is a need for a complete roadmap.