All About Width of Right of Way (RoW) in India as per IRC


All About Width of Right of Way (RoW) in India as per IRC

The width of a right of way (RoW) is an essential aspect of any road infrastructure project in India. It refers to the clear distance between the edges of a road and the adjacent properties. The Indian Road Congress (IRC) has laid down specific guidelines for the width of RoW, taking into account various factors such as traffic flow, road classification, and developmental needs. Understanding these guidelines is crucial for proper planning and execution of road projects. In this article, we will delve into the details of the width of RoW as per IRC and its importance in the Indian road infrastructure.

Width of Right of Way (RoW) in India as per IRC

Width of Right of Way (RoW) in India as per IRC

Right of Way (RoW) is a critical element in the planning and development of any road project. It refers to the land area that is acquired for the construction and maintenance of a road, including all necessary infrastructure. In India, the guidelines for the width of RoW are prescribed by the Indian Roads Congress (IRC), which is a premier technical body for the development and maintenance of roads in the country.

According to IRC guidelines, the width of RoW for new roads depends on the type of road and the traffic volume it is expected to carry. It is generally measured from one boundary to the other along the centerline of the road. The following table summarizes the minimum RoW width as per IRC for various types of roads:

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Type of Road Minimum RoW Width (in meters)

National Highway (NH) 60-115

Expressway 100-150

State Highway (SH) 45-75

Major District Road (MDR) 30-45

Other District Roads (ODR) 24-30

Village Roads (VR) 12-24

The width of RoW may vary depending on the terrain, topography, and other site-specific conditions. In hilly areas, the RoW width may be increased to accommodate slopes and curves. In urban areas, the RoW may be narrowed to accommodate the existing structures or to minimize the impact on nearby buildings.

The RoW width also includes the provision for the necessary infrastructure such as drains, culverts, bridges, and footpaths. The IRC recommends that for roads carrying heavy traffic, extra RoW width should be provided for the construction of service roads and other roadside amenities. This is to ensure the safety and convenience of pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles.

Apart from the RoW width, the IRC also recommends providing additional width for the construction of embankments and retaining walls in case of unstable or hilly areas. This is done to ensure the stability of the road and to prevent soil erosion.

In India, the acquisition of land for RoW is a major challenge in road development projects. In many cases, the process of land acquisition is time-consuming and leads to delays in the completion of projects. To address this issue, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced the Right of Way Act, which defines the process and guidelines for land acquisition for road projects. This act also specifies the compensation and rehabilitation measures for affected landowners.

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In conclusion, the width of RoW is an essential factor in ensuring the smooth and safe operation of roads in India. The guidelines prescribed by the IRC take into account various factors such as traffic volume, terrain, and infrastructure requirements. Adhering to these guidelines can help in the timely completion of road projects and ensure the proper utilization of land resources.


In conclusion, the Right of Way (RoW) is an essential component of road infrastructure in India, as per the guidelines set by the Indian Roads Congress (IRC). It determines the width of land required for the construction of roads and ensures safe and efficient movement of vehicles and pedestrians. The IRC has set specific standards for the width of RoW based on various factors such as the type of road, traffic volume, and urbanization. Adhering to these standards is crucial for the development of a well-connected and sustainable transportation system in the country. It is essential for the government and authorities to diligently follow these guidelines while planning and constructing roads to ensure the safety and convenience of all road users. With proper implementation of these standards, India can achieve


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