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This Ministry is primarily responsible for development and maintenance of National Highways (NHs). The Ministry keeps on receiving proposals from various State Governments/Union Territories (UTs) for declaration of State roads as new National Highways (NHs). The Ministry considers declaration of some State roads as new NHs from time to time based on requirement of connectivity, inter-se priority and availability of funds.

The declaration of State roads as new NHs are considered based on well established principles; the criteria for State roads for declaration as new NHs include roads running through length / breadth of the country, connecting adjacent countries, National Capitals with State Capitals / mutually the State Capitals, major ports, non-major ports, large industrial centers or tourist centers, roads meeting very important strategic requirement in hilly and isolated area, arterial roads which enable sizeable reduction in travel distance and achieve substantial economic growth thereby, roads which help opening up large tracts of backward area and hilly regions (other than strategically important ones), achieving a National Highways grid of 100 km, etc.