Centre threatens to cut maintenance money if states downgrade NHs

Centre threatens to cut maintenance money if states downgrade NHs

 States planning to downgrade national highways to district or municipal roads to duck the Supreme Court’s liquor ban should bear the financial burden of such a move, the road ministry has warned.

An official said converting national highways (NHs) would mean that the onus to develop and maintain them would fall on the state government as the ministry spends considerable resources in looking after the NHs.

The official added that the states had earlier rushed to the Centre with requests to upgrade district roads into national highways since The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) developed such roads and the states also received funds from the ministry for their annual maintenance.

The Supreme Court order to close down liquor shops along national and state highways, however, changed the trend. While the states are authorised to downgrade state highways, they still have to approach the Road Ministry to convert national highways into district or municipal roads, the official pointed out. He also cited instances in the past where the ministry has downgraded national highways on the state’s request for various reasons.

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