Transport system of India – Road, Rail, Water, Air ways

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An efficient transport system is a pre-requisite for sustained economic development. It is not only the key infrastructural input for the growth process but also plays a significant role in promoting national integration, which is particularly important in a large country like India.

The transport system also plays an important role of promoting the development of the backward regions and integrating them with the mainstream economy by opening them to trade and investment.
India has a well-developed transport network.

Road transport

Ministry: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

Minister Responsible: Nitin Gadkari

Assumed office – 26 May 2014

Agencies – National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, Indian Roads Construction Corporation (IRCC).

India has an extensive system of roads that plays a vital role, as far as the national economic growth of the country is concerned.
India holds World’s second largest road network

Benefits of roads transport

It play a very important role in the transportation of goods and passengers for short and medium distances.

It establishes easy contact between farms, fields, factories and markets, thus leading to better linkage between consumer and producer.

It is a relatively cheaper mode of transport as compared to other modes and is flexible.

The roads can be classified into 3 major sections based on their connectivity such as 1. National Highways 2. State Highways 3. District Roads

Railway Transport

Ministry: Ministry of Railways (India)

Minister Responsible: Piyush Goyal

Assumed office – 3 September 2017

The Indian railway system is the second largest system in the world under the single management. Railways virtually forms the life-line of the country, catering to its needs for large scale movement of traffic, both freight and passenger, thereby contributing to economic growth as well as promoting national integration.

It is a multi – gauge system operating on three gauges – the broad, the meter and the narrow.

Effect on Indian economy
The construction and expansion of the railways have been proved to be beneficial for the economic and inclusive growth of the economy.

It has played a significant role in the development of cotton textile industry, jute industry as it provides free flow of raw materials with proper penetration to market areas.

Railways have been very helpful in the development of Indian agriculture. Now farmers can send their agricultural goods to distant places and can fetch good incomes.

Railways are playing significant role in running country’s administration and safeguarding its freedom and integrity, as it provides easy movement of police, troops, defense equipments etc.

Problems and Issues in Railway

Cleanliness, punctuality of services, safety, quality of terminals, capacity of trains, quality of food, security of passengers and ease of booking tickets are issues that need urgent attention.

The high density networks of the Indian Railways are facing acute capacity constraints coupled with a low passenger fares thereby leading to increases in freight tariffs to cross subsidize passenger revenues.

Investments in safety have also suffered on account of low internal generation of resources.

Water Transport

Ministry: Ministry of Shipping (India)

Minister Responsible: Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Transport (Assumed office on 26 May 2014)

Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Shipping (Assumed office on 9 November 2014)

Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Assumed office on 3 April 2018)

Waterways provide the cheapest-means for transportation of commodities in bulk because there is no fixed cost associated with them. Costly construction of routes is not required.

Inland waterways
India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. However, there are number of constrains attached to the river transport, namely
(a) The rivers must have enough water flowing in them throughout the year;
(b) The rivers must be free from waterfall & have stabilized courses;
(e) The rivers must flow in the right direction; i.e., the direction of dominant trade flows.

Seaports in India
the coastline of India is dotted with 12 Major Ports and about 200 Non-major Ports.

Issues in sea transport
• Equipment utilization is very poor due to equipment being obsolete and poorly maintained.
• Documentary procedures relating to cargo handling such as customs clearance requirements are unduly complicated and time consuming. Electronic document processing is still to be introduced in all the ports.
• Port access facilities and arrangements for moving in-bound and out-bound cargo are inadequate and unsatisfactory.

Air Transport

Ministry: Ministry of Civil Aviation (India)

Minister Responsible – Suresh Prabhu

Assumed office 12 March 2018

Agency: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
Aviation as an infrastructure segment has played vital role in facilitating the growth of business and economy in India. A robust civil aviation set-up is key to seamless flow of investment, trade and tourism, with significant multiplier effects through the economy.

Threats & Problems faced by Airways

A terrorist attack anywhere in the world can negatively impact air travel.

Government intervention can lead to new costly rules.

High operational costs

High service tax and other charges

Shortage of maintenance facilities

High foreign exchange rate

Lack of qualified pilots and technical manpower etc.

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