TRANSPORTATION IS IMPORTANT
- Needed for the movement of goods for trade
- Needed for the movement of people.
- Needed for bringing about unity in diversity.
All forms or modes of transport have made themselves felt in different parts of India.
Roads are important because of the following: —
- They carry goods and people over short and medium distances.
- They are cheap and easy to maintain.
- They can be constructed over hilly and rugged areas.
- They act as feeders to railways.
- They are more flexible and most places are accessible by roadways.
- Perishable commodities such as milk, vegetables, fruits, etc. are carried faster by road than rail.
- They are not suitable for very long distances.
- Heavy commodities such as coal and iron cannot be transported easily.
- Increased number of motor vehicles is leading to increased air pollution.
- They are more expensive than railways.
CLASSIFICATION OF ROADS
- National Highways—which connect state capitals, important towns and ports:
- National Highway No. 1 or Sher Shah Suri Marg connects Delhi to Amritsar.
- National Highway No. 2 connects Kolkata to Delhi.
- National Highway No. 6 connects Kolkata to Mumbai.
- State Highways—which connect state capitals with district headquarters and major towns.
- Major district roads.
- Minor district roads.
On the basis of importance, the NHDA has connected Delhi-Mumbai-Chennai-Kolkata- Delhi by a 6 lane superhighway called the Golden Quadrilateral.
The North-South Corridor between Srinagar and Kanyakumari, and the East-West Corridor between Silchar and Porbandar are the other quick transport roadways.
Expressways have been constructed between important towns to ensure smooth and quick travel, e.g., Mumbai- Pune, Kolkata-Durgapur.
The north-eastern states lack good roads because of difficult terrain, thick forests and backward economy.
The first railway was introduced in 1853 between Mumbai and Thane.
Factors Favoring Constructions of Railway Lines
- Flat, level lands.
- High density of population.
- Rich agricultural potential. Railway lines are absent in plains prone to floods, the rugged Himalayan Mountains and the sandy areas of Rajasthan.
Problems with Rail Transport
- Railways operate on three different gauges.
- Passengers have to change trains from place to pace.
- Rail and road transport should be integrated and coordinated for successful operation of different modes of transport.
Water transport is cheapest means of both passenger and cargo transport. However, water transport is not comparable with the other modes of transport because of its slow speed.
FACTORS AFFECTING WATER TRANSPORT
- A regular flow, sufficient water.
- There should be sufficient depth of water.
- There should not be any sharp bends, waterfalls and cataracts in the rivers course.
- The river should not flow too fast.
- There should be sufficient demand for water transport along the line.
Not all rivers of India are navigable. India has a fairly long coast line to develop her coastal waterways. 12 major ports and 184 intermediate and minor ports along the coastlines are served by coastal waterways.
- The fastest mode of transport is the air transport.
- It is free of physical barriers such as difficult mountainous terrain.
- It is possible to reach the remotest of places.
- It has limited carrying capacity.
- The costs of transport and other services are all very expensive.
- The weather can at times hamper smooth transport.
All airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India—the AAI. India is well connected by a few private domestic airlines and air taxis. India’s International connectivity is maintained by Air India. India has 4 main international airports out of 7, and a host of many smaller domestic airports.
QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS
- Why is transportation important in a country like India?
Ans: India is a country with vast distances and a very large population. There is need for exchange of goods and commodities as well as to bring different people together.
Q.2. Give two advantages of good roads.
Ans: Roads are important as they help in the transport of goods and people over short and medium distances.
Q.3. Mention two advantages of roadways over railways.
Ans: Roads are more flexible than railways. Roads can transport perishable commodities faster than railways.
Q.4. What is the Golden Quadrilateral?
Ans: The National Highways connecting Delhi- Mumbai-Chennai-Kolkata-Delhi by a 6-lane superhighway is the Golden Quadrilateral.
Q.5. What are ‘expressways’? Give two examples of ‘expressways’. Why have they been constructed?
Ans. Expressways are 6-lane highways constructed to ensure smooth and swift travel between important towns.
- Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
- Kolkata-Durgapur expressway.
They have been constructed to ensure swift movement between important cities.
Q.6. Give reasons to explain why maximum roads are found in the northern plains.
Ans. (i) That flat rolling plains allow easy construction
(ii) The High density of population ensures a continuous high a demand.
(iii) The fertile soils present means there are a large variety of goods which need to be exchanged.
Q.7. Which was the first railway line in India?
Ans. The first railway line started in India was between Mumbai and Thane.
Q.8. Mention three problems faced by the Indian Railways.
Ans. (i) The flow of goods and passenger is hampered because it operates on different gauges and the shift from one to another gauge becomes a time consuming and expensive affair.
(ii) Perishable goods cannot tolerate a slow-moving mode of rail transport.
(iii) Rail traffic has increased. It becomes difficult for the old tracks to carry the increased load and accidents are frequent.
Q.9. Give four factors that affect water transport.
Ans. (i) Regular flow and sufficient water in the river.
(ii) The presence of waterfalls, cataracts and sharp bends along the river’s course.
(iii) Sitting of the river bed reduces the depth and creates problems.
(iv) Water is reduced at times due to diversion of water for irrigation.
Q.10. Give reasons to explain why water transport has not developed in the peninsular rivers.
Ans. (i) The southern or peninsular rivers are seasonal.
(ii) Because of the plateau nature of the surface, the rivers are swift flowing.
(iii) The rivers have insufficient depth.
Q.11. What are the advantages of waterways?
Ans. Waterways are the cheapest means of transport for bulky and heavy loads. There is also no need for the construction of waterways, as they use existing routes, e.g. rivers and seas.
Q.12. Mention some major disadvantages faced by air transport.
Ans. (i) Air transport is expensive.
(ii) Air transport has limited carrying capacity. It suffers from lack of space, both for passengers and goods.
(iii) Weather conditions can also hamper air transport.