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Government of Tamil Nadu has the unique distinction of creating a separate Highways Department as early as in 1946 exclusively to attend the roads and bridges in the State. Tamil Nadu was the forerunner in bringing out standard specifications for the roads and bridges in the year 1954. The objectives of the department are to maintain and improve the roads under the control of the Government and to provide all weather road connectivity to rural habitations. A new post of Secretary to Government, Highways Department came into being in 1996. Minor Ports were later brought under the purview of this Department. Subsequently, this Department was renamed as Highways and Minor Ports Department.


The vision of the Highways Department is to increase the capacity, connectivity, efficiency and safety of the Highways System so as to enable balanced socio-economic development of all sections of the people and all regions of the state.


Availability of adequate and quality infrastructure is a prerequisite for rapid industrial development, which in turn leads to creation of gainful employment for the people. Increasing accessibility and connectivity within and among rural areas is an important prerequisite for rural development. Tamil Nadu is served by an extensive road network in terms of its spread and quality, providing links between urban centers, agricultural market-places and rural habitations in the countryside.

Highways Department serves the road users of Tamil Nadu by providing High Quality, Cost Effective, Environment-Friendly Road Network (by applying Innovation, Best Practices, appropriate Technology and responsible Management of Internal and External Resources). Also, the roads are reliable, safe and contribute to Sustainable Economic Development and Social Well-being of the State


Highways Department maintains 66,039 Km of roads in Tamil Nadu. This is 2.5 times the average length of roads in India. The details of the roads are given in the following tables:

Year Total Length in KMs
1951 32,300
2016 62,460
2017 62,468
2018 63,650
2019 66,039

Details of Road Network
Classification Length in KMs
National Highways 6,634
State Highways 11,169
Major District Roads 11,612
Other District Roads 36,624
Total 66,039

Lane - Wise Length details
Sl.No. Category wise Single Lane Intermediate Lane Double Lane Multi Lane Total
1. National Highways     3514 3120 6634
2. State Highways 38 215 8570 2346 11169
3. Major District Roads 321 7186 3869 236 11612
4. Other District Roads 30490 4960 1103 71 36624
Total 30849 12361 17056 5773 66039


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Last Updated: 03-03-2021
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