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The Imperial Gazetteer on roads

Before the advent of British rule, roadways in the modern sense were practically unknown; and even after its establishment there were few to be found, except within urban limits

Bibek Debroy

Readers of this column are familiar with the name of Arthur Cotton. In 1854, he published a book titled “Public Works in India”. “There cannot be any greater proof of the evil consequences of doing things without any general investigation, than the history of communications in India up to this time, the desultory way in which the matter has been attended to, and the consequent failures and waste of money that we have seen. While the loss from want to communications was so great that there were a thousand ways and a thousand plans in which money might have been expended ...