India Changing All National Highway Route Numbers

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Feb. 18 – By the end of this month, all of India’s national highways will be renumbered as the moves towards what is claims is an easier and more scientific base than the current highway system.

The popular NH-8 connecting Delhi and Mumbai will be renumbered as NH-48 and similarly, the Kolkata-Delhi highway, which is presently NH-2, will become NH-19. Additionally, these primary corridors will also be longer. The changes come as India prepares for a massive overhaul and restructuring of its national highway system in the forthcoming years. Both the government and private businesses are investing in the new development of India’s national highways. Details of projects and tender processes are in the current issue of India Briefing Magazine.

Sources in the road, transport and highways ministry told the Times of India that the final notification could happen any time and that the renumbering has already been vetted by the law ministry. “We have already circulated the details to the National Highways Authority of India and the state governments. So, they are in the know of this. Though it will take a couple of years for people to get accustomed to the new numbers, in the long run this will prove as a big help, more so when we are adding more stretches to the NH network,” an official said.

As per the detailed report, highways starting from north to south will be in even numbers and those running in the east-west direction will be in odd numbers. For example, the east-west corridor starting from Silchar in Assam and terminating in Porbandar in Gujarat will be renamed as NH-27 and the north-south corridor starting from Srinagar and terminating in Kanyakumari will be renumbered NH-44.

Officials said that the primary national highways running along the north-south and east-west directions will be predominantly double digit for better identification by commuters. In case of national highways with even numbers, the number will increase from east to west and similarly in case of the odd number national highways, the numbers will increase from north to south.

“The present numbering is very irrational. You have NH-10 running parallel to NH-1 and NH-58 running parallel to NH-24. The scientific numbering is more important considering the fact that now people are covering over 250 km in their cars, which was not the case earlier. We expect this to cross the 1,000 kilometer m mark. So, rational numbering will come in handy for commuters at large,” said an official.

Secondary routes will be three digits long.

Sources said that though the renumbering is complicated and will take some time for people to get accustomed to, this has been done considering the increasing length of national highways. In fact, the national highway network has increased from 21,378 kilometers in 1947 to 70,934 kilometers. Officials said this will cross 100,000 kilometers by 2021.