Importance Of Road Maintenance

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Chapter 1

1.1 Overview Rural roads usually make up the majority of the road network in any country but only carry a fraction of the traffic. Rural roads in India comprise about 85 percent of the total road network. They are often treated as the last links in the transport networks. However, they are critically important in terms of providing access to social and economic services. Rural roads act as facilitators to promote and sustain agricultural growth, improve basic health, provide access to Market centres, Education Hubs, Hospitals and economic opportunities. They, thus, hold the key to accelerated poverty alleviation, socio-economic transformation, national integration and breaking the isolation of village communities. Maintenance of rural roads needs to be an integral part of poverty reduction strategies to enable our country to succeed in reaching the MDG’s (Millennium Development Goals). Maintenance of rural roads is, therefore, not simply a financial and economic issue but also a humanitarian priority. Particular emphasis has to be given to effective mechanisms for managing and financing long term maintenance. The sustainability of many rural roads programs have been compromised through inadequate maintenance. Maintenance requires an appropriate incentive framework, a steady and sufficient flow of funds, and effective management systems but crucially the involvement and engagement of the community. For this
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