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The length of road per 100 sq km of area is known as the density of roads. Distribution of road will not be uniform in a country. The road network may be highly developed in the plains, while it would be highly inadequate in the plateaus and the mountainous and hilly areas. In the case of India, the density of roads are different in different regions. It varies from only 12.14 km in Jammu and Kashmir to 517.77 km in Kerala.
Roadways are majorly promoted in any country as it has many advantages compared to the other modes of transportation. The construction cost of roads is much lower than that of railway lines. Also, roads can navigate dissected, hilly and undulating topography much easily than railways. It is also economical in the transportation persons and goods over short distances by providing door-to-door services.
But road transportation in India faces a number of problems. Some of the major issues of the Indian road network are:
• The inadequacy of roads- India is the second largest country in terms of population and the seventh largest in terms of land area. But the road network is inadequate considering the volume of traffic and the number of passengers.
• Quality of roads- More than 50% of roads in the country is unmetalled or kuchcha roads. They become unusable during the rainy seasons. Many areas having such roads become inundated during heavy rains.
• Congestion- The roads are highly congested in the cities. Most of the bridges and tunnels are old and narrow. This impacts the conditions of the roads mainly in rainy seasons.
• Maintenance- This is the most important factor contributing to the poor condition of the road network. Only minimal maintenance works are carried out by the government. In most cases, the roads having potholes are given patchwork repairing. This affects the condition of roads, especially in the rainy seasons.
However, in recent years fast development and improvement of the road network are taking place in different parts of the country.
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