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Old 28th June 2012, 12:07   #1
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Default Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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I recently shifted to Vadodara for a couple of years. Till date I had heard a lot of people shower all kinds of praises on the highways in Gujarat and I always thought that it was just being overplayed. Afterall why would a lone Indian state be so different then all others combined? Aren't the same authorities responsible for the upkeep of these roads across the country? But I was in for a massive surprise.

A month into my stay in Vadodara and the bug to explore gujarat ( rather more about exploring the so often described awesome roads) started bugging me. So I decided to take the weekend off and go on a drive. I had a couple of friends in Jamnagar which is around 320 kms away from vadodara. But then on my friend's suggestion ( and also some bhpains), I decided to alter the route slightly and go via ahmedabad. The route followed was baroda-ahmedabad expressway and then take NH 8A all the way to jamnagar going via rajkot. A total of 420 kms. I borrowed my friend's old battered but still very capable Tata Indigo and started off. The roads are absolutely amazing and I have no words to describe the feeling.

This was my first journey where I didn't encounter a single pothole, infact not even a single undulation on the road. The roads are absolutely butter smooth. I failed to encounter a single person going in the wrongway, something that is very common and irritating on the Delhi-jaipur and other stretches. Each car/truck/bus is more than willing to give you way. You don't need to even honk at them. I was left amazed. No lane cutting, no sudden turns. It took me just 4 hours and 30 minutes flat to reach jamnagar. And this could have been made even lesser given a more competitive car.

Now the question thats puzzling me and hence this thread. If Gujarat can do this then why not the rest of the country? Don't we all pay the same taxes and hence deserve the same facilities? I am sure there may be some isolated highways in other parts of the country which are equally good but why cannot each and every road in other states be like this? Aren't the national highways under a central agency or is it totally state dependent?

Looking forward to learn from you guys about this.

Cheers.

Last edited by GTO : 31st March 2014 at 16:06. Reason: Add pic of GJ Highway from another thread :)
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:18   #2
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Nice topic. Although I have personally not been to Gujarat, I have heard a lot about Ahmedabad and how great the highway and roads are. Am sure with a little bit of dedication and sincerity many states can emulate them.

But are they willing is the question. The current CM is very highly spoken about in business circles in Gujarat and is supposed to be very investor friendly. Look how no time was wasted to make a pitch for the Tata Nano factory when Singur showed the first signs of expulsion for the Tatas.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:27   #3
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

While i have never been to GJ (only herd people rave about roads there) so my view might be slightly off.

There are two factors at play here, one the political will and second the attitude and awareness of people. In terms of political will there is none like Mr Modi, he is a hardcore executioner and we need more politicos like him.

What i am more surprised to see the fellow road users awareness and adherence to rules which are for their own safety and can only attribute this to some sort of education to the masses which other states have failed to replicate. Such social awareness is where others have miserably failed.

Others learn by mistakes, when few unhappy incidents happen on the road.

On my recent drive, i saw school kids, on cycles riding on the wrong side on the right most lane of the road. This is so-so risky, these school going kids have obviously not been educated either at their school or by their parents as to how unsafe this is, and this is in Chattisgarh where the CM (Mr Raman Singh) is said to be doing things right, but the difference is quiet ghastly visible in terms of road manners.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:32   #4
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Gujrat has Modi where as us poor blokes have to do with Maya, Mamta, Akhilesh, Shiela & etc etc.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:41   #5
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrman View Post
Nice topic. Although I have personally not been to Gujarat, I have heard a lot about Ahmedabad and how great the highway and roads are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
While i have never been to GJ (only herd people rave about roads there) so my view might be slightly off.
You have to experience them to believe it. Even I felt the same till date since almost every highway I have travelled on before this is riddled with one or the other issue. The best part is that the toll is not heavy. I paid a total of 175 Rs for the whole 420 km journey. The major chunk of this was Rs 90 for the 100 km ahmedabad-baroda expressway.


Quote:
What i am more surprised to see the fellow road users awareness and adherence to rules which are for their own safety and can only attribute this to some sort of education to the masses which other states have failed to replicate. Such social awareness is where others have miserably failed.
Well even I was surprised at this. Infact it became really funny on a lot of occasions in the first 100 kms of my drive. Having driven a lot on highways around Delhi and Bangalore, I have sort of developed the habit of overtaking from the left on the highway. This is ofcourse provided that the road is wide and there is no traffic coming from behind. I started following this since most cars/trucks/buses on our roads do not like to budge even on continued flashing of lights and honking. But here it was totally different. The roads being so good, one does not feel like going through the task of braking, honking, flashing and waitng for the car in the front to give way. Rather I just choose to overtake from the left. But to my surprise, without my as much as touching the horn, the cars/trucks in front moved to the left on seeing me approaching. So atleast on 5-6 times I moved to the left lane, prepared to overtake and at the same time found the guy ahead of me moving to the left lane too with a puzzled look on his face. Only then I got the hang of things and started the good old practice of sticking to the right most lane.

Disclaimer: I am not trying to encourage anyone here to overtake from the left.

Last edited by drmohitg : 28th June 2012 at 12:44.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:54   #6
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

Mohit
I myself have travelled through many states on road from North to south and i can safely say Gujrat has the best roads in the country.

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post

Now the question thats puzzling me and hence this thread. If Gujarat can do this then why not the rest of the country? Don't we all pay the same taxes and hence deserve the same facilities? I am sure there may be some isolated highways in other parts of the country which are equally good but why cannot each and every road in other states be like this? Aren't the national highways under a central agency or is it totally state dependent?

Looking forward to learn from you guys about this.

Cheers.
As far i see, the main reasons are (might be wrong)
1. Mr. Modi
2. Kandla port, hence the roads to the port are perfect.
3. Influence of big players like Reliance and other oil giants.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:54   #7
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Smile re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I guess it all boils down to the political will and people participation. Its a well know fact that most of the Gujarati's have business acumen and will go to lengths to achieve success in their business. For business to flourish, the infrastructure needs to be equally supportive and good. And Narendra Modi's iron hand ensured that the state gets the best of the roads.

It will not be difficult for other states to replicate if the people of the state are equally aware of their rights.

What about the interior roads? Are they at same par as the NH's? What about the roads in Vadodara? Do they get battered during the monsoons too?
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:02   #8
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I travel to Gujarat every other week for business purpose. The roads are insanely awesome to drive on compared to what we have at disposal in Maharashtra.

IRB has completed work of flyovers between Mumbai to Surat except for 2 or 3 flyovers which are within Maharashtra. These flyovers are left unattended for light years now. IRB is our client and when asked why the quality of roads are different in Gujarat and Maharashtra? They said there are just too many "problems" in Maharashtra compared to neighboring state.

Corruption is everywhere, at least output should be satisfactory after accepting ...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
What about the interior roads? Are they at same par as the NH's? What about the roads in Vadodara? Do they get battered during the monsoons too?
Yes, the interior roads are excellent too. Atleast major city roads are great. You really want to keep driving.

Last edited by F50 : 28th June 2012 at 13:08.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:02   #9
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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Originally Posted by kpzen View Post
Mohit
I myself have travelled through many states on road from North to south and i can safely say Gujrat has the best roads in the country.



As far i see, the main reasons are (might be wrong)
1. Mr. Modi
2. Kandla port, hence the roads to the port are perfect.
3. Influence of big players like Reliance and other oil giants.
There are ports in other places of the country. Is the situation similar there?

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
What about the interior roads? Are they at same par as the NH's? What about the roads in Vadodara? Do they get battered during the monsoons too?
Well I have just been in vadodara for a couple of months. Would keep a check on how the interior roads behave once the monsoons come in there full glory.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:16   #10
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I was leading a normal life since birth in the state of Karnataka till I tied knots to someone from Gujarat. This created avenues, reasons and above all a social commitment to visit this state more frequently than ever before.

Since the past 6 years, I have visited the state on many occasions and have had the chance to drive around on the state's highways covering most of it.
I even drove from Bangalore to Gujarat on 3 occasions in the past 15 months alone.

The road network of Gujarat (More of highways) is excellent and not much different from some of the other beautiful highways in the other parts of the country. What makes driving on GJ highways a different experience altogether is the discipline and the common sense that prevails among the road users here (I will rather say Car/Cabs/Buses).
  • When you are driving on a Gujarat highway, irrespective of whether its day or night, a mere flashing of headlights sans honking works more than 9/10 times to signal the vehicle at front to give way for overtaking. This is another hint that the driver behind the wheels is keeping an eye on rear view mirror. I have always loved this and no matter who is driving ahead (even a GSRTC bus with that tiny mirror moves left). Also, you will see all the traffic drive only on the left lane.
  • You are most likely to find everyone complete the overtaking attempt and get back to the left most lane (or the center lane in case of 6 laned highway from Mumbai till Baroda).
  • You will find most of the private traffic driving sedately keeping speeds between 80-90kmph and will seldom get a hint that he is in a hurry on a powerful car on that open stretch unlike our dear Bangalore-Bellur cross, Bangalore-Krishnagiri or Mumbai-Pune expressway where everyone seems to be rushing to a nearby fuel station where its sold for free on that day.
  • Almost all the heavy vehicles will have functional tail lamps and brake lights along with reflector stripe at the rear to allow safe driving at night.
  • On a normal undivided 2 lane road, your Hi-Lo of headlights will "Always" yield results - The traffic from the opposite direction for sure will lower down its beams.
  • You will seldom find a Tempo Traveller or a Sumo or a Indicab driven rash or in a negligent manner. Now I don't need to explicity mention how these classes of Yellow cabbies drive around on our highways elsewhere.

However:
  • You will find the most reckless 2 wheeler riders with 3 on board jump on to the main road without any hints.
  • 2 wheelers, 3 wheelers, Tata Aces etc are driven notoriously between Bombay and Baroda. I have witnessed petty to serious accidents due to misinterpreted (rather over confident) calculations by these set of vehicles while crossing the median to the other side of the road.
  • The 6 lane corridor between Bombay till Baroda is no doubt excellent but calls for a very aggressive style driving some times. The left lane is always unsafe since most of the petty vehicles stop abruptly to alight/board passengers. Due to this, truckers remain in the center lane and attempt overtaking from the fast lane. At times they often decide to overtake from the fast lane, back off and suddenly switch lanes and try overtaking from the leftmost lane. Its almost a video game style driving on many occasions.The best to drive on this stretch is after 10pm all through the night.
  • The stretch between Viramgam and Morbi on NH8A is super dangerous due to wrong side driving that you then start to hate driving on Gujarat roads too just because of this small stretch.

Summary : With some patience, you will always end up overtaking a vehicle from Right in Gujarat and this is what makes driving a fantastically safer experience on the already good quality roads it has.

Last edited by paragsachania : 28th June 2012 at 13:22.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:18   #11
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

I was thinking about travelling to and then around GJ. You have encouraged me to do so. I hope Modiland expands - but too many politicos are allergic to him.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:18   #12
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

@drmohitg, though i have no idea as to why the roads are so good there, i would be grateful if you could post some pics for us staying at other locations to drool at!!
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:31   #13
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
I guess it all boils down to the political will and people participation. Its a well know fact that most of the Gujarati's have business acumen and will go to lengths to achieve success in their business. For business to flourish, the infrastructure needs to be equally supportive and good. And Narendra Modi's iron hand ensured that the state gets the best of the roads.

It will not be difficult for other states to replicate if the people of the state are equally aware of their rights.

What about the interior roads? Are they at same par as the NH's? What about the roads in Vadodara? Do they get battered during the monsoons too?
That is very true. It is the political will, visionary leadership and above all the amazing business acumen of the people of Gujarat that has made this possible. I have stayed in Ahmedabad all my life though I basically belong to Kerala and over the many years have seen the difference in the attitude and approach to life of the people here as well as in other parts of the coutnry. They understand the differenec between 'investment' and 'cost' and so 'invest' in building the right infrastructure. And that is what makes them (and their roads) stand truly apart from the rest. It really feels good to hear such praises for my karmabhumi

Even the interior roads are much the same as the NHs. I have driven across many interior roads and they too are great roads to drive thru. The condition of the city roads in Ahmedabad is far far better than many other 'big' cities in the country though traffic is pretty heavy like in these big cities. Have been to Vadodara on many occassions and my general impressions of the roads there too is similar to that of Ahmedabad
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:33   #14
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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@drmohitg, though i have no idea as to why the roads are so good there, i would be grateful if you could post some pics for us staying at other locations to drool at!!
Well I was travelling alone this time and had very less time on my hands. So didn't take any pics. But you will find plenty in the travelogue section. I would surely click some snaps on my next trip. Intend to do a lot of driving in this awesome state before I go back in the midst of ugly Delhi traffic.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:36   #15
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Default re: Gujarat Highways: Can they be replicated across India?

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[*]You will find most of the private traffic driving sedately keeping speeds between 80-90kmph and will seldom get a hint that he is in a hurry on a powerful car on that open stretch unlike our dear Bangalore-Bellur cross, Bangalore-Krishnagiri or Mumbai-Pune expressway where everyone seems to be rushing to a nearby fuel station where its sold for free on that day.
Well, true but not for Vapi-Surat stretch. I avoid crossing Vapi at 6pm or about going towards Surat and 4pm or about going towards Mumbai. The guys who head in either direction guns their vehicle. Accords, Cruzes, Corollas are driven at insane speeds. Infact I've seen woman driving Scorpio with one hand hanging out and 2 wheels on the dirt doing 90+kmph and happily passing all vehicles from the left.
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