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Project Report "Transport System in India"

TRANSPORT: Transport is a system in which passengers & goods are carried  from one place to another.

Modes of Transport: Transportation is generally divided into three modes-LAND, WATER & AIR.

The Land Transport consists of roads and railways.

Water Transport is also divided into two types:



The latest and the fastest mode of transport is Air Transport.


Transport is over whelming mechanical now days. Transport routes or channels are the basic arteries of our economy.

They provide important links between producers and consumers of goods.

The well unit transport system brings people very close to one-another.

They promote independence among people, in a greatly diversified economic, social and cultural life.

 Transport network includes various means of transport.


̃       ROADS

̃       RAILWAYS



̃       AIRWAYS


India has one of the largest road networks in the world. Roads have been existence since ancient times. Ashoka and Chandergupta made great efforts to build roads. Sher Shah Suri built the Grand Trunk Road from Kolkata in the east to Peshawar in the west across the Indo-Gangetic Plains.


  • Roads are suitable for short distance travels and traffic movement.

  • Construction and maintenance of roads are cheap and easy.

  • Loading and unloading of goods in trucks involves less amount of money.

  • For transport perishable commodities, roads provide better services rather than railways


The total length of roads in the country of about 25lakhs K.M. Of these 57% are surfaced roads. Roads in India are grouped into 7 categories on the basis of their construction and maintenance.

  • National Highways

  • Freeways Highways

  • International Highways

  • State Highways

  • District Roads

  • Village Roads

  • Border Roads


The national highways connect one state to another and are of national importance. These roads are constructed and maintained by the central government. There are about 52000K.M of national highways. They carried 45% of total road traffic.



Name  of  Highways

Cities Connected by Them


Grand Truck Road

Calcutta, Delhi, Patna & Amritsar


Calcutta-Mumbai Road

Calcutta, Nagpur & Mumbai


Agra-Mumbai Road

Agra, Gwallior, Indore & Mumbai


Calcutta-Chennai Road

Calcutta, Cuttack & Chennai


Pathankot-Dalhousie Road

Pathankot, Dalhousie


Great Kadan Road

Mirzapur, Nagpur & Banglore


In order to meet the requirement of fast traffic Freeways National Highways have been planned. 4 to 6 lane National Highways of 14846 K.M distance are proposed to be constructed during the period 1991-2001. These are named as:

  • GOLDEN QUADILATERAL connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta will have a length of 5846 K.M

  • NORTH-SOUTH AND EAST-WEST CORRIDORS connecting Srinagar to Kanyakumari and Silchur to Porbander, will have a length of 7300 K.M

  • Road connecting to ten major corridors namely KANDLA, JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU PART, MARMGOA, NEW MANGLORE, KOCHI, TUTICORIN, ENNORE & CHENNAI, VISHAKHAPATNUM, PARADIP AND HALDIA, will have a length of 3630 K.M

 The government has involved private sector companies to invest, develop and maintain highways, because it involves a huge investment. This is based on the concept of Build, operate and Transfer i.e. BOT.


These are constructed and maintained by the state government and join state capitals with district headquarters with other places of district. There are about 1.3 laks kms of state highways.


These roads connect the district headquarters with other places of district.


These roads connect the villages with the neighboring towns and cities. These are generally maintained and constructed by Panchayats.


 The Border Roads organization constructs and maintains these roads. It has now spread its activities to other areas as well, giving them benefit of their valuable expertise.

Major problems faced by our Road Transport are as follow –

(i)     Road network in India is inadequate, in comparison to the passengers and traffic handled by them.

(ii)    43% of the roads are unsurfaced. They become in operational during rainy season.

(iii)   Length and width of the National Highways are inadequate. They are highly congested in cities. Their bridges and culverts are narrow

(iv)   Road side amenities like drinking water, telephones facilities to meet accidental and looting emergencies, like police protection and health services are poor.  


                The Railways are the main artery of inland transport in India. The railways are 150 years old in India. The first train moved between Mumbai and Thane in 1854. The total length of railways is about 63,000 km. India has the second largest railway network in Asia. The Indian railways carry 40,000 lakh passengers and 4,000 lakh tones of goods a year. It is the largest public sector undertaking of country.

      India has a network of 6867 station spread over a route length of 61,579 km. The length of running track is 107, 9694. About 23% of the route is electrified.

      Railways Network in India

1.   Route Length                            :           63028 km

2.   Railway stations                        :           6867km

3.   Railway Engines                        :           7517 km

4.   Coaches                                   :           36510 km

5.   Wagons                                    :           2, 44,519 km

6.   Running Track                           :           1, 07,969 km

7.   Electrified Track                       :           15127 km

Progress made by Indian Railways

1.        Priority has been assigned to conversion of meter gauge lines into broad gouge. Railways tracks are electrified.

2.          Steam engines have been replaced by diesel and electrical engines.

3.          Railways have specialized themselves in carrying over long distances heavy and bulky goods including containers. Most of trains are electric and diesel locomotives.

4.           Fast moving trains and public amenities at railway station is introduced. Railway made a significant problem in the area of track replacement. Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains are introduced.

5.             At present, the railways comprise three gauges-broad (1.675m), meter (1.000m) and narrow (0.762m). Efforts are being made to convert meter gouge track to broad gauge track. At present 70.72% are broad gauge, 23.92% are meter gauge and 5.36% are narrow gauge.

Measures to reduce the burden of the Railways

(i)          Electrification of railway track.

(ii)         Increased used of hydro-electricity.

(iii)        Setting up of thermal power plant near coal mines.

(iv)        Conversion of railways gauge into broad gauges.

(v)         Replacement of steam locomotives by electrical and diesel engines.

(vi)        Greater use of natural gas to produce electricity.

Railway Zones

      Far administrative convenience the Railways have been divided into zones. The zones and headquarters are as under:

Zones                     Headquarters                Zones                          Headquarters

Central                   Mumbai CST                 North-eastern               Gorakhpur

Eastern                   Kolkata                        North-east Frontier       Mallagaon

Northern                New Delhi                    South Central                Secundrabad

Southern                 Chennai                       South-eastern               Kolkata

Western                 Mumbai Churchgate        North central               Allahabad

East coast               Bhubneshwar                North-Western             Jaipur

Bilaspur                  Bilaspur                        South-Western             Banglore

East central             Hazipur                        West central                Jabalpur

          Characteristics of the Distribution of Railway Network:

(i)         A dense network of railways has been developed in the Northern plain from Amritsar to Howarh. The rail network is highly linked to the level of agricultural development. It is connected with all parts through fast trains.

(ii)        The peninsular region, Gujrat and Tamilnadu have a dense rail network. Trunk routes connect Mumbai with Chennai, Chennai with Kochi, Chennai with Delhi and Chennai with Hyderabad.  

(iii)       Railways network in sparse in the mountainous terrain of the Himalayas. The rugged terrain, backward economy and sparse population are responsible for sparse rail network. No railway is found in Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland.

(iv)       The rail network between East costal Plains and west coastal plains has a distinct contrast. A long trunk route runs all along the East coast but such a rail track is missing along the Western Ghats due to outcrops of ghats being very close to the coast.


(i)         Indian railways carry most of long distances passenger traffic and 80% of total freight.

(ii)        Indian railways provide employment to a huge number of people in the country.

(iii)       They also provide mail services.

(iv)       They carry big chunks of goods from place of production to ports and vice-versa.

(v)        Iron and steel industries based upon railways as they transport raw materials and finished products from one place to another.

Pipe Line Transport

 In the past pipelines were used to carry water to cities and industries, these are also used for transportation of crude of natural gas and natural gas fields to refineries, fertilizer factories and big thermal power plants. Pipelines have made it possible to set-up big thermal power-plants in a shortest possible time and near to market.

Major categories of Pipelines

 There are four major networks of pipeline transportation in our country:

  1. Pipelines carry crude oil from upper Assam oil fields to Kanpur, via Guwahati, Baruni and Allahabad. Its branches are :-

(i)        from Barouni to Haldia via Rajbandh

(ii)       from Rajbandh to Maurigram

(iii)      from Guwahati to Siliguri

  1. Another major pipeline originates from salaya in Gujrat and carries crude oil to Jalandhar in Punjab via Viramgam, Delhi Mathura and Panipat. Its branches connect koyali near Vadodra, Chakshu and numerous other places.

  2. The longest pipeline of India carries natural gas from Hazira in Gujrat to Jagdishpur in U.P. via Bijaipur in M.P. It is 1730 kilometer long.

(i)        Its branches connect Kota (Rajasthan), Shahjahanpur (U.P.) and several other places of U.P.

(ii)       The pipeline is also connected with Mumbai High and South Bassein.

  1. Fourth major pipeline also connects Mumbai high with Mumbai and Mumbai with Pune.


Some more pipelines are proposed pipelines they will be laid completed and made operational in the near future :

(i)      Between Kandla and Panipat (Haryana)

(ii)     Between Kandla and Bina (M.P.)

(iii)    Between Mumbai and Manmad (Maharashtra)

(iv)    Between Vishakhapatnam to Visaiwada (Andhra Pradesh)

(v)     Between Mangalore to Chennai via Bangalore


India has large number of perennial rivers and a very long coast line of 5560 km. Water transport is of two types :-

(i)      Inland water Transport

(ii)     Ocean water Transport

Inland Water Transport

Waterways are the cheapest means of transport. These are most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky goods. India has inland navigable waterways of 14,500 km in length. Out of these, only 3700 km are navigable by mechanized boats.

National Waterways

Government of India has declared the following inland waterways as national waterways

1.      The Ganga River between Allahabad and Haldia covering a distance of 1620 km.

2.      The Brahmputra river between Sadiya and Dhubri (891 km)

3.      The west coast canal between kollam and kottapuram covering a distance of 168 km.

4.      The Champakara canal covering a distance of 14 km.

5.      The Vdyogmandal canal covering a distance of 22 km.

Major Navigable River and Canals

            The Brahmaputra and the Ganga are important navigable rivers. The lower reaches of the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Mahanadi, the Narmada and the Tapi and their canals are also navigable.

             The major navigable canals include the Buckingham canal in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu, the Cumbarjua canal in Goa, the Left Bank Main Canal of Durgapur Barrage in DVC and west coast canals in Kerela.

Ocean Water Transport

            Water transport along the coast is also very important in India. It is a cheap means of transport. The long coastline can be properly utilized for the purpose of transport of goods along the west and east coasts of the country from one part to another.

Major Sea Ports

            About 7500 km long coast line of India is served by 12 major and 181 medium and minor seaports. The major ports handle over 90% of India’s foreign trade. The major ports handle about 15,000 cargo vessels per annum. 70 percent of cargo handled at these sea ports is for overseas trade. Our ports handle more imports than exports. Coastwise distribution of major seaports is as follow:-

Seaports located at west coast                                           At East coast   

1.         Kandla                                                                         1.         Tuti corin

2.         Mumbai                                                                        2.         Chennai

3.         Jawaharlal Lal Nehru                                                    3.         Ennore

4.         Mormugao                                                                   4.         Vishakhapatnam

5.         Mangalore                                                                    5.         Puradip

6.         Kochi                                                                           6.         Haldia

Mumbai is the largest sea port of India. This port really makes Mumbai the gate Way of India.

Problems of the ports

1.       Mismatch between existing capacity and demand for traffic.

2.       Creation of capacity of the ports is not planned.

3.       Indian ports continue to show lower productivity in comparison to efficient ports in the Asian region in terms of labour and equipment.


1.       Guide lines have been issued regarding private investment in the port sector. First large private project has been taken up at Jawahar Lal Nehru port by an Australia-led consortium, P&O Ports. Similar projects are also coming up at other major sea ports.

2.       Indian Ports Act 1908 and Major Port Trust Act, 1963 have been made flexible to allow private investment in ports.

3.       A Traffic Authority for Major ports has been set up to fix and revise various port charges to be collected by private enter preneurs. It has started working from April 1997


Airways provide the fastest mode of transport but they are very costly. For remote hostile and inaccessible areas, airways are the best means of transport. In 1953, air transport was nationalized. Now-a-days four air services are in operation.

1.         Air India                                  

2.         Private Air Lines

3.         Pawanhans Helicopters

4.         Indian Airlines and Alliance air

          Factors responsible for progress and popularity are enumerated as under:-

1.       The air services operate throughout the year as clear and cloudless sky facilities the flying.

2.       Advanced Aluminium industry facilities the manufacture of aircraft in the country.

3.       India serves as nodal point on the major air routes between Europe and South-East and East Asia.

4.       India is a vast country. Hence rail and road transport are time-consuming as they have to cover long distances.

Airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Efforts are on to provide with the latest scientific technology to ensure passengers safety and quick handling of passengers and freight traffic.  

International airports handle air traffic between the world and India. Thirteen international airports are:

1.         Delhi                                        8.         Kochi

2.         Mumbai                                    9.         Hyderabad

3.         Chennai                                    10.       Guwahati

4.         Kolkata                                    11.       Bangalore

5.         Amritsar                                   12.       Thriuvananthapuram

6.         Ahmedabad                              13.       Sri Nagar

7.         Punji


1.      There are a small number of industrial and business centers as compared to the size of the country.

2.      Heavy goods can’t be transported from one place to another by aero planes.

3.      The cost of aviation petrol is very high resulting in the high cost of operation and making air travel beyond the reach of middle classes.

4.      The components and spare parts of the aero planes are imported from other countries. This has impeded the growth of civil aviation of the country.

The role of Transport Network in the Development of India

1. Life Lines of the country: - Modern means of transport provide a helping hand in maintaining the sovereignty and economic unity of a nation. In India, central govt. controls National Highways and the Railways directly. They act as the arteries of our land transport network. They are all real life lines of our nation.

2. Transportation: - Transport network carries food grains and various manufactured goods from place of origin to place of consumption. They bring industrial raw materials, power fuels live coal and mineral oil at the site of industrial units.

3. Turning of local market into national market: Transport network turns local markets of previous day into national market of today. Ships carry exportable surpluses to other countries and import goods of our requirements.

4. Help in development of economy:  The branch roads, the feeder railway lines and inland waterways fulfill local needs of inner regions. Thus they integrate them with country’s market economy. Development of the transport network increases the mobility of people.   

5. National integration of the country: - Aircrafts and helicopters services make the people on High Himalaya; the nomends of the Thar Desert and North-East India feel to be the part and parcel of India. Air transport brings immediate and distant neighbors closer to each-other in the present world of Trade and Commerce.

6. Cultural Integration: - Transport Network begins people of different castes, creeds, colors, religions, languages and regions nearer to one another. They act, react and interact with one another. Thus transport network helps in the cultural and national integration of the country.




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