Transport – Roadways, Railways, Pipelines, Waterways, Airways

Transport

  • The required goods and services which are around us are immovable and to bring them to us we need transport and the people who can bring it to us called traders.
  • The development of a country is highly dependent on the production of these goods and services as well as their movement over space. More efficient transport faster is development.
  • Movement of these goods and services can be over three important domains of our earth i.e. land, water and air. Transport can also be classified into the land, water and air transport.
  • Today almost the majority of villages and remote area is reachable and developing due to means of communications. Therefore, transport, communication and trade are complementary to each other.
  • Today, India is well-linked with the rest of the world despite its vast size, diversity and linguistic and socio-cultural plurality.
  • Railways, airways, waterways, newspapers, radio, television, cinema and internet, etc. have been contributing to its socio-economic progress in many ways.
  • International trade plays an essential role in the development of a country and without efficient transport and well-developed communication it is not possible.
  • It is thus, evident that a dense and efficient network of transport and communication is a prerequisite for local, national and global trade of today.

Roadways

  • India has one of the largest road networks in the world, aggregating to about 56 lakh km. In India, roadways have preceded railways.
  • Roadways have edge over railways as in many ways as they are easy to maintain and build, the construction cost of roads is much lower than that of railway lines.
  • The roads can traverse comparatively more dissected and undulating topography, roads can negotiate higher gradients of slopes and as such can traverse mountains such as the Himalayas.

  • The road transport is economical in the transportation of a few persons and a relatively smaller amount of goods over short distances, it also provides door-to-door service.
  • The cost of loading and unloading is much lower, road transport is also used as a feeder to other modes of transport such as they provide a link between railway stations, air and seaports.
  • Based on their capacity the roads are classified into six categories, i.e golden quadrilateral, national highways, state highways, district roads, other roads and border roads.
  • Golden Quadrilateral superhighways: The government has launched a major road development project linking Delhi Kolkata-Chennai-Mumbai and Delhi by six-lane Super Highways.

  • The North-South corridors linking Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) and Kanniyakumari (Tamil Nadu), and East-West Corridor connecting Silchar (Assam) and Porbander (Gujarat) are part of this project.
  • The major objective of these Super Highways is to reduce the time and distance between the megacities of India. These are being implemented by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
  • National Highways: They link extreme parts of the country. These are the primary road systems and are laid and maintained by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). A number of major National Highways run in NorthSouth and East-West directions.
  • The historical Sher-Shah Suri Marg is called National Highway No.1, between Delhi and Amritsar.
  • State Highways: Roads linking a state capital with different district headquarters are known as State Highways. These roads are constructed and maintained by the State Public Works Department (PWD) in State and Union Territories.
  • District Roads: These roads connect the district headquarters with other places of the district. These roads are maintained by the Zila Parishad.
  • Other Roads: Rural roads, which link rural areas and villages with towns, are classified under this category. These roads received special impetus under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana.
  • Under this scheme village in the country is linked to a major town in the country by an all-season motorable road.
  • Border Roads: Border Roads Organization a Government of India undertaking constructs and maintains roads in the bordering areas of the country.
  • This organisation was established in 1960 for the development of the roads of strategic importance in the northern and north-eastern border areas.
  • These roads have improved accessibility in areas of difficult terrain and have helped in the economic development of these areas.
  • Roads can also be classified on the basis of the type of material used for their construction such as metalled and unmetalled roads.
  • Metalled roads may be made of cement, concrete or even bitumen of coal, therefore, these are all-weather roads. Unmetalled roads go out of use in the rainy season.

Railways:

  • Railways in India bind the economic life of the country as well as accelerate the development of the industry and agriculture. It is the principal mode of transportation for freight and passengers in India.
  • It also makes it possible for people to conduct multifarious activities like business, sightseeing, pilgrimage along with transportation of goods over longer distances.

  • The Indian Railway is now reorganized into 16 zones.
  • The distribution pattern of the Railway network in the country has been largely influenced by physiographic, economic and administrative factors.
  • The northern plains with their vast level land, high population density and rich agricultural resources
    provided the most favourable condition for their growth.
  • In the hilly terrains of the peninsular region, railway tracts are laid through low hills, gaps or tunnels. e.g. Himalayan mountainous regions.
  • It is difficult to lay railway lines on the sandy plain of western Rajasthan, swamps of Gujarat, forested tracks of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
  • Today, the railways have become more important in our national economy than all other means of transport put together.
  • Challenges: travel without a ticket, unnecessary chain pulling, thefts and damage to railway property.

Pipelines:

  • The pipeline transport network is a new arrival on the transportation map of India.
  • These are used for transporting crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas from oil and natural gas fields to refineries, fertilizer factories and big thermal power plants.

  • Solids can also be transported through a pipeline when converted into the slurry.
  • The initial cost of laying pipelines is high but subsequent running costs are minimal. It rules out trans-shipment losses or delays.
  • There are three important networks of pipeline transportation in India:

–  From oil field in upper Assam to Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), via Guwahati, Barauni and Allahabad.
– From Salaya in Gujarat to Jalandhar in Punjab, via Viramgam, Mathura, Delhi and Sonipat.
– A gas pipeline from Hazira in Gujarat connects Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh, via Vijaipur in M.P.

Waterways:

  • Waterways are the cheapest means of transport. They are most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky
    goods.
  • It is a fuel-efficient and environment-friendly mode of transport. India has inland navigation waterways of 14,500 km in length.
  • The waterways number 1, 2, 3, 4 have been declared as the National Waterways by the Government.
  • There are some other inland waterways on which substantial transportation takes place. These are Mandavi, Zuari and Cumberjua, Sunderbans, Barak and backwaters of Kerala.
  • 95 per cent of India’s trade volume (68 per cent in terms of value) is moved by sea.

     Major Seaport:

  • India is dotted with 12 major and 200 notified non-majors (minor/intermediate) ports.
  • Kandla in Kuchchh was the first port developed soon after Independence to ease the volume of trade on the Mumbai port. It is known as Deendayal port.

  • Mumbai is the biggest port with a spacious natural and well-sheltered harbour.
  • Marmagao port (Goa) is the premier iron ore exporting port of the country. This port accounts for about fifty per cent of India’s iron ore export.
  • Chennai is one of the oldest artificial ports in the country.
  • Vishakhapatnam is the deepest landlocked and well-protected port. This port was, originally, conceived as an outlet for iron ore exports.
  • Haldia port was developed as a subsidiary port, in order to relieve growing pressure on the Kolkata port.

Airways:

  • The air travel, today, is the fastest, most comfortable and prestigious mode of transport.
  • It can cover very difficult terrains like high mountains, dreary deserts, dense forests and also long oceanic stretches with great ease.
  • The air transport was nationalised in 1953. Air India provides domestic and international air services.
  • Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. provides helicopter services to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in its off-shore operations, to inaccessible areas and difficult terrains.

  • Air travel is not within the reach of the common people.
  • It is only in the north-eastern states that have special provisions are made to extend the services to the common people.

Related Questions:

1. Where and why is rail transport the most convenient means of transportation?
Ans. Railways are the most convenient means of transport in the Northern Plains of India. The flat terrain has eased the construction of rail tracks while dense population, agricultural and industrial trade has favoured the growth of railways in this region. Rail transport is considered a convenient mode of transportation as railways can transport a larger number of goods and passengers over long distances at economical cost and comfort.

2. What is the significance of the border roads?
Ans. The Border Roads provide a link to the border frontiers and towns of our country. These roads are required by armed forces to access and protect India’s border. The Border Road Organisation under the Government of India constructs and maintains these roads.

3. What do you know about Golden Quadrilateral?
Ans. The government has launched a major road development project linking Delhi-Kolkata, ChennaiMumbai and Delhi by six-lane superhighway. It is looked after by the National Highway Authority of India.

4. What is a new arrival on the transportation map of India? [CBSE Sample Paper 2016]
Ans. The pipeline transport network is a new arrival on the transportation map of India to transport liquids
as well as solids in slurry form.

5. Handling of exports and imports on a large scale is done conveniently from the Kandla port. Why? [CBSE Sample Paper 2017]
Ans. Kandla is a tidal port, hence large ship can enter and leave the port easily.

6. What are the advantages of waterways?
Ans. (i) Waterways are the cheapest means of transport.
(ii) They are most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky goods.
(iii) They are fuel-efficient and also an environment-friendly mode of transport.

7. What is pipeline transportation? Write two merits and demerits of the same. [CBSE Sample Paper 2016]
Ans. The pipeline transport network is a new mode of transport these days. In the past, pipelines were used to transport water to cities and industries. Now, these are used for transporting crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas from oil and natural gas fields to refineries, fertilizer factories and big thermal power plants. Solids can also be transported through a pipeline when converted into a slurry.
Merits:
(i) Useful in transporting liquids and solid slurry from far away locations.
(ii) Subsequent running costs after laying down the network are minimal.
(iii) It rules out trans-shipment losses or delays.
Demerits:
(i) Initial cost of laying pipelines is high.
(ii) Pipelines can burst or can have leakage leading to wastage of valuable resource like water, mineral oil, etc

8. Why is air travel economical in north-eastern regions?
Ans. Air travel is economical in the north-eastern region as:

(i) Airways can cover very difficult terrains like high mountains, dreary deserts, dense forests
and long oceanic stretches with great ease.
(ii) North-eastern part of the country is marked with the presence of big rivers, dissected reliefs,
dense forests and frequent showers and floods and international frontiers, etc.
(iii) Air travel has made access easier to these undulating north-eastern states of India.

9. Why do the movement of goods and services from one place to another require fast and efficient means of transport? Explain with examples. [CBSE Delhi 2017]
Ans. The requirement of efficient means of transport:
(i) We use different materials and services in our daily life. Some of these are available in our immediate surroundings, while other requirements are met by bringing things from other places.
(ii) Goods and services do not move from supply locales to demand locales on their own. The movement of these goods and services from their supply locations to demand locations necessitates the need for transport.
(iii) The products come to consumers by transportation.
(iv) The pace of development of a country depends upon the production of goods and services as well as their movement over space.

10. Evaluate any three features of ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ Super Highways. [CBSE (AI) 2017]
Ans. Three features of Golden quadrilateral Super Highways:
(i) It is the government project of major road development linking Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai,
Mumbai and Delhi.
(ii) It is six-lane superhighways.
(iii) It has the objective to reduce the time and distance between the megacities of India.
(iv) It is implemented by the NHAI for quick and comfortable movement of goods and passengers in India.

11. Airways is the most preferred mode of transport in North-Eastern states of India.” Give three reasons to prove this preference. [CBSE Sample Paper 2017]

Ans. Air travel is more popular in the northeastern states of India because:
(i) The north-eastern part of the country is marked with the presence of big rivers, dissected relief and dense forests hence, it is difficult to construct roads and railway lines there.
(ii) There are frequent floods and international frontiers, which require immediate and quick attention from the government authorities. Floods also damage roads and railway lines.
(iii) Air travel has made access to the north-eastern part of the country easier and quicker.

12. Compare and contrast the merits and demerits of Roadways with those of Railways. [CBSE Sample Paper 2016]
Ans. Roadways v/s Railways
(i) Construction cost of roads is much lower than that of railway lines and construction time is also comparatively less.
(ii) Roads can traverse comparatively more dissected and undulating topography which is a limitation in case of railways.
(iii) Roads can negotiate higher gradients of slopes and as such can traverse mountains like the Himalayas, whereas the mountainous regions are unfavourable for the construction of railway lines due to high relief, sparse population and lack of economic opportunities. Likewise, it is difficult to lay railway lines on the sandy plains in the deserts, swampy or forested tracks.
(iv) Road transport is economical in the transportation of few persons and a relatively smaller amount of goods over short distances whereas railways are suitable for transportation of a large number of people and goods in bulk, especially over long distances.
(v) Roadways provide door-to-door service, thus the cost of loading and unloading is much lower but railways have not reached everywhere, still, there are places which are yet to be connected with the railways.
(vi) Road transport is also used as a feeder to other modes of transport such as they provide a link between railway stations, air and seaports. On the other hand, railways work as a lifeline for the economic growth of a country as they carry raw materials and produced goods from one part of the nation to another on a large scale.

13. Explain any five major problems faced by road transport in India.  [CBSE (F) 2017, CBSE (AI) 2016]
Ans. Five major problems faced by road transport in India are:
(i) Keeping in view the volume of traffic and passengers, the road network is inadequate.
(ii) About 50% of the roads are unmetalled.
(iii) This limits their usage during the rainy season.
(iv) The National highways are also inadequate.
(v) Moreover, the roads are highly congested in cities.
(vi) Most of the bridges and culverts are old and narrow.

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