India infrastructure is quite developed and the transportation network of the country contributes towards the economic development of the country. The transportation network of India consists of roadways transport, railways, shoreline shipping, and airways transport etc. The transportation system of the nation is well-set and efficiently managed and is a key player in maintaining the financial development of the country.
The overall span of roadways in the country is more than 44 lakh km and these roadways comprise both unmetalled and metalled roads.
India houses one of the most extensive roadway transportation networks in the globe. The National Highways in the country represent below 2% of the overall roadways transportation network of the country. Nevertheless, these highways in India facilitate in 40% of the carriage of commodities and transportation of commuters in the country.
The span of the railways network in the country is approximately 64,015 km or 39,777 miles. Electrification has been carried out to approximately 13,000 km. The railways in India transport more than 11 million commuters and 11 Lakh tonnes of freight on a daily basis.
The shoreline of India is quite extensive. Approximately 90% of the business activities on sea are managed by the important harbors in India like Mumbai, Kandla, Marmagao, Nhava Sheva, Tuticorin, Cochin, Vishakapatnam (Vizag), Chennai, Haldia, Paradwip, Ennore, New Mangalore, Kolkata and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.
The quickest mode to travel to any corner of the world is air travel. Domestic flights are offered by the private carriers and Indian Airlines. At the same time, the international flights are offered by Air India. The four major airports in India are Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.
Transportation in India
Transportation forms a major segment of the economy of the whole country. The important modes of transport are air, road, and rail. The traditional means of transportation included walking, palanquin, bullock carts and horse carriages, bicycles, hand-pulled rickshaw, cycle rickshaw, and trams. The contemporary modes of transport include buses, taxis, suburban railway, auto rickshaws, rapid transit (metro and monorail), two wheelers, automobiles, and utility vehicles.
Motor transport is the commonest means of local transport in India. Commuter rail services are available only in the six metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata (West Bengal), and Hyderabad. At least 25 cities in the country have regular bus services. Bus services account for more than 90% of public transportation system in the cities of India. It is an affordable and suitable means of transport for every tier of the society. The bus services are predominantly operated by transport companies that are held by the state government. Now, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has been introduced in the country in cities like Delhi, Pune, and Ahmedabad. In many cities, the air conditioned (AC) buses are running. The biggest bus terminus in Asia is situated in the city of Chennai and it is known as Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus. Other than these buses, there are Double Decker Buses in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, and Trivandrum.
North Eastern States like Sikkim, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura etc. too don't have that much of a well developed transport system.Taxis or cars are the primary sources of transportation used here.
Taxis are mostly Hindustan Ambassador or Premier Padmini cars. Of late, vehicles like Maruti Esteem, Chevrolet Tavera, Mahindra Renault Logan, Maruti Omni, Toyota Innova, Tata Indica, Tata Indigo and Hyundai Santro are also used as taxis.
Suburban Railway Services
Currently, the suburban railway services are available in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and MMTS Hyderabad
The rapid transit system in India comprises the metro rail and monorail services. The Kolkata Metro is the oldest metro railway service in India which started way back in 1984. Other metro services in the country are as follows:
Delhi Metro, Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System, and Namma Metro (Bengaluru).
Metro railway services that are under construction include:
Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon, Mumbai Metro, Chennai Metro, Jaipur Metro, Hyderabad Metro, Navi Mumbai Metro, and Kochi Metro.
Long distance transport
Railway services and flights constitute the long distance transportation network in the country. The trains are categorized according to their average speed. The various categories are given below:
Duronto Express, Shatabdi Express and Jan Shatabdi Express, Rajdhani Express, Superfast Express, Garib Rath, Express and Mail trains, Superfast Express, Passenger and Fast Passenger, and Suburban trains. The various suburban railway systems in the country are mentioned below:
Chennai Suburban Railway, Delhi Suburban Railway, Barabanki-Lucknow Suburban Railway, Kolkata Suburban Railway, Mumbai Suburban Railway, Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS), Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway, and Pune Suburban Railway. The Indian Railways is the statutory authority of all railway operations in the country.
Road Transportation Network in India
The road transportation network in India comprises state highways, national highways, district roads, village or rural roads, and other types of roads. The road transportation network of India spans over 4.42 million km or 2.059 million miles.
Aviation in India
The major airlines in the country include names like Air India, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Deccan, SpiceJet, Paramount Airways, GoAir, and IndiGo Airlines.
The international airports in India are as follows:
Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport, Veer Savarkar International Airport, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Dabolim Airport, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Bengaluru International Airport Mangalore Airport, Cochin International Airport, Trivandrum International Airport, Calicut International Airport, Raja Bhoj Airport, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Pune Airport, Jaipur International Airport, Chennai International Airport, Tiruchirapalli International Airport, Taj International Airport, Amausi Airport, Varanasi Airport, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. Other than these airports, there are many domestic and civilian airports in the country.
Waterways transportation in India
Waterways transportation is also a mode of transportation in India. Given below are the names of the watercourses that have been proclaimed as National Watercourses by the Government:
- National Waterway 1: Starting from Allahabad and ending at Haldia. The main river is the Ganges - Bhagirathi - Hooghly River and the overall span in October 1986 was 1,620 km or 1,010 miles.
- National Waterway 2: Starting from Saidiya and ending at Dhubri. It consists of the Brahmaputra river network and in 1988, the overall span was 554 miles or 891 km.
- National Waterway 3: Beginning at Kollam and ending at Kottapuram of the West Coast Canal in company with the Udyogmandal and Champakara channels. In 1993, the overall span was 127 miles or 205 km.
- National Waterway 4: Two parts - starting at Wazirabad and ending at Vijaywada and similarly, starting at Bhadrachalam and ending at Rajahmundry. The river network is the Krishna-Godavari river network beside the Kakinada-Pondicherry channel system. In 2007, the overall span was 680 miles or 1,095 km.
- National Waterway 5: Two divisions - starting at Talcher and ending at Dhamara and starting at Mangalgadi and ending at Paradeep. The river network is the Mahanadi-Brahmani river network beside the East Coast Channel. In 2007, the overall span was 387 miles or 623 km.