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Highways may get their old numbers back 
Date: 28 Nov 2018
INT|20181128|002 

The new names of highways have created confusion as people know major stretches by their old names. It’s not just road-users but even officials in the highway  ministry and National Highway Authority of India are confused about the new numbers of national highways across the country.
Even seven years after the old numbers were changed, tenders floated by NHAI mentions Delhi-Mumbai stretch as NH 8 instead of its new name, NH 48.
It’s no different in the case of Delhi-Amritsar stretch, which is still referred to as NH-1 instead of its new name of NH-48. Another major NH connecting Delhi with Nainital is still referred as NH-24 and not as NH-9, which is its new name. “Renumbering NHs was a futile exercise and it has created more chaos,” said an official, who did not wish to be named.
Ministry officials admitted that though the intention behind renaming the NH stretches was good and rational, it had horribly gone wrong. Informally, they admitted that the new names have created more confusion as people know the major highway stretches by their old names. Sources said realising this, the government is now planning to clean up the mess and may restore the numbers of most of the existing National Highways.
Soon after becoming the highway minister in 2009, Kamal Nath had ordered reorganising the numbers of NHs based on the American model of numbering of highways as per the directions - north to south, east to west. The objective behind this exercise was to guide the drivers to understand easily in which direction they were going. Secondly, the number of an NH was to indicate the part of the country.
NHAI has put up new numbers alongwith the old numbers to guide people in recent years. “The confusion is more when one gets on to NH-1 and the  GPS map shows it as NH-44 and at several locations you see hoardings of NH-1. It serves no purpose, rather causes more confusion. This also proves how the highways authorities have failed to popularise the new numbers even seven years after these were notified,”


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