National Highways – UPSC Prelims

  • National Highways (NH) are built, financed and maintained by the Central government whereas State Highways (SH) are developed by the respective States’ public works department.
Constitutional Provisions:
  • Highways declared by or under law made by Parliament to be national highways – Union List under Seventh Schedule.
  • Article 257 (2): The executive power of the Union shall also extend to the giving of directions to a State as to the construction and maintenance of means of communication declared in the direction to be of national or military importance.
Authorities and Legalities:
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is primarily responsible for development and maintenance of NHs.
  • NHs in the country are notified under the National Highways Act, 1956.
  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was set up by an act of the Parliament, NHAI Act, 1988, for the development, maintenance and management of national highways and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Land for development of National Highways and associated purposes is acquired under Section 3 of the NHs Act, 1956 and compensation is determined in accordance with the First Schedule of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013.
  • BhoomiRashi portal was launched in 2018, to fully digitize and automate the entire process of land acquisition.
  • The aim of the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy, 2015 is to promote greening of Highway corridors with participation of the community, farmers, private sector, NGOs, and government institutions.

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