Road classification is primarily based on a variety of criteria, such as, traffic volume, road-width and surface type and also on links between specific locations. If warranted, the roads are reclassified to the next higher category keeping in view the traffic density, tourist usage, and industrial importance.
The roads in the State of Uttar Pradesh are classified into the following five categories based on functional and administrative criteria:
- National Highways (NH)
- State Highways (SH)
- Major District Roads (MDR)
- Other District Roads (ODR)
- Village Roads (VR)
The Public Works Department (PWD) is the major department dealing with the State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads and a part of the Village Roads in the state.
Core Road Network
The Core Road Network concept was developed by the Techno-Economic Feasibility Consultants i.e., DHV in order to focus budget allocation of resources for road maintenance. Another part of the exercise was to simplify maintenance management practices, with a view to enhance the chances of their sustainability. Their definition of a Core Road Network is:
“The minimum road network required to support the economic and social development of Uttar Pradesh by providing good quality road linkages between the major population, industrial and culturally valuable locations in the state. The Core Road Network most influences the economic well-being of the state, therefore has to be maintained at all times”.
It has also been suggested that the ‘core road’ network should be that length of road which can be regularly maintained at an acceptable standard using the available budget provisions from the State.
In Report No. 23: Report on Implementation of core roads – strategic planning functions and processes in PWD the core road network was defined as the total length of:
- State Highways
- Major District Roads
- Other District Roads
The total length amounts to some 44,000 kms. It was appreciated that for various reasons, political, economic, military, and other, some of these roads would be more vital than others. These were defined as the ‘Strategic Core Network’. Throughout the rest of this Report these terms have been used to define core roads and strategic core roads.
Parameters used for identifying the core road network:
- National Highways were automatically included in the core road network of the State. • State Highways which link UP with adjacent states or neighbouring countries were then added to the core road network, to provide external economic linkages.
- Subsequently, it was deemed important that every district capital should have access to the national road network with at least one good road link. Where this criterion was not met by the National and State Highways mentioned above, a local road was selected which fulfilled this function.
- Adjacent district headquarters also have to be linked to each other by means of a road link of sufficient capacity to accommodate the prevailing traffic.
- Major industrial centres, like Kanpur, which are district headquarters, were subsequently linked to the core, road network, by inserting the roads that link these centres to the national road network and markets.
- Likewise, major truck routes have been added to the strategic road network on the assumption that commercial traffic is a major road user, with economic significance for the State.
- Roads with current traffic volumes exceeding 2,000 fast moving vehicles a day (according to the traffic model for this study) were added to the network, if not already in one of the categories above.
- Routes that supply the only road connection to a remote area were included on the grounds of connectivity.
Finally, access to prominent tourist and pilgrimage centres was added as part of the core road network.