Brief History of Ministry of Road & Transportation


Rahe Abrisham, Bimonthly Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 62, Jul. 2003
Page 62

By : Mohammad Lahouti

AT the beginning of the Pahlavi era, there were only 3,900 kilometers of roads in the country. At the time of Reza Khan it reached 24,000 km and until the end of that era the main and secondary roads in the country reached 26,000 km. At the moment the Ministry of Road & Transportation of the Islamic Republic of Iran safeguards 166,185 kilometers of roads in the country.

Construction and maintenance of the roads in the vast and mountainous country of Iran has been very costly. Therefore the previous state of the roads in Iran remained still up to the outbreak of the World War I and consisted of convoy-going routes. However the government constructed roads from 1920 and one can refer to the years 1922 to 1925 as the beginning years for construction of roads.

Up to that time, the credit allocated to road construction was provided by getting passage fees and it amounted to maximum 3,000,000 rials. On 1st of April 1922, the General Department for Roads was obligated to construct and maintain the roads in the country. In 1925, at the proposal of the then government and ratification of the 5th Parliament, receipt of passage fees was prohibited and it was decided to receive tax from the gross weight of exports and imports.

In this manner, the annual credit reached 15,000,000 rials and the domestic roads were divided into different districts, while officials were selected for management of the affairs, repair and maintenance of roads. In these classifications, the roads were divided into ten districts and each of these regions was numbered and managed by one person. In 1926, a plan entitled "Proposing Project for Construction of Roads" was designated in Iran. The duration of this project was nine years and its costs were estimated at 450 million rials. In this plan, construction of 17021 kilometers of first degree, second degree and third degree roads were predicted. This is the first plan for construction of roads in Iran.

Focusing upon development of roads led to establishment of General Department of Roads as a ministry in March 17, 1929, based on an act which was approved by the parliament.

The main duties of this ministry, according to article two of this act, was "Taking care of establishment and maintenance of railroads, asphalt roads, regulation and development of shipping and management of port-related affairs.

Thereafter, the Ministry of Roads was made responsible for construction and maintenance of roads, railroad, and management of port-related affairs and shipping.

From the outbreak of World War II onwards, within 22 years, Iran went through many upheavals up to 1963. During this period, the construction projects were incepted and the Ministry of Roads developed the railroad, and equipped the airports, in coordination with maintenance of the constructed roads, and in line with the swift advancement of the other pillars of the country.

By virtue of the act for changing the name of Ministry of Road to the Ministry of Road & Transportation, ratified on June 23, 1974, this ministry was renamed the Ministry of Road & Transportation and conducted its operations with new establishments, higher credits and well-developed obligations.

The goal of the Ministry of Road & Transportation is to designate a comprehensive and coordinated policy for transportation of the country, advancing and equipping, maintenance and construction of infrastructure installations, with due regard to the necessities for economic, social and constructive development and national defense.

At the very start of the Pahlavi dynasty, the roads of the country did not go further than 3900 kilometers. During the reign of Reza Khan, the length of these roads extended to 24,000 kilometers, and until the end of the said dynasty, the length of minor and main roads amounted to 26,000 kilometers. At the moment the Ministry of Road & Transportation of the Islamic Republic of Iran safeguards 166,185 kilometers of roads in the country.

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