Transport in India
Transport the Republic of India is an important part of the nation's economy. Since the economic liberalisation of the 1990s, development of infrastructure within the country has progressed at a rapid pace, and today there is a wide variety of modes of transport by land, water and air. However, India's relatively low GNP per capita has meant that access to these modes of transport has not been uniform.
Motor vehicle penetration is low by international standards, with only 103 million cars on the nation's roads.1 In addition, only around 10% of Indian households own a motorcycle.2 At the same time, the automobile industry in India is rapidly growing with an annual production of over 4.6 million vehicles,3 and vehicle volume is expected to rise greatly in the future.4
In the interim however, public transport still remains the primary mode of transport for most of the population, and India's public transport systems are among the most heavily used in the world.5 India's rail network is the 4th longest and the most heavily used system in the world,5 transporting 7651 million passengers and over 921 million tonnes of freight annually, as of 2011.6:3, 56
Despite ongoing improvements in the sector, several aspects of the transport sector are still riddled with problems due to outdated infrastructure and lack of investment in less economically active parts of the country. The demand for transport infrastructure and services has been rising by around 10% a year5 with the current infrastructure being unable to meet these growing demands. According to recent estimates by Goldman Sachs, India will need to spend US$1.7 trillion on infrastructure projects over the next decade to boost economic growth, of which US$500 billion is budgeted to be spent during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan.7
- 1 Traditional means
- 2 Public road transport
- 3 Urban rail transport
- 4 Other local transport
- 5 Long distance transport
- 6 Aviation
- 7 Ports and shipping
- 8 Waterways
- 9 Pipelines
- 10 Environmental issues and impact
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
In ancient times, people often covered long distances on foot. For instance, Adi Sankaracharya travelled all over India.8 Walking still constitutes an important mode of transport in urban areas.9 In the city of Mumbai, to further improve the transit conditions for pedestrians, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, has commenced the construction of more than 50 skywalks,1011 as part of the Mumbai Skywalk project.
Palanquins, also known as palkis, were one of the luxurious methods used by the rich and noblemen for travelling. This was primarily used in the past to carry a deity or idol of a God, and many temples have sculptures of God being carried in a palki. Later on, it was primarily used by European noblemen and ladies from the upper classes of society prior to the advent of the railways in India.12 Modern use of the palanquin is limited to Indian weddings and Pilgrimage.citation needed
Bullock carts have been traditionally used for transport, especially in rural India. The arrival of the British saw drastic improvements in the horse carriages which were used for transport since early days. Today, they are used in smaller towns and are referred as Tonga or buggies. Victorias of Mumbai are still used for tourist purposes, but horse carriages are now rarely found in the metro cities of India.13 In recent years large cities have banned the movement of bullock carts and other slow moving vehicles on the main roads.141516
Bicycles are a common mode of travel in much of India. More people can now afford to own a cycle than ever before. In 2005, more than 40% of Indian households owned a bicycle, with ownership rates ranging from around 30% to 70% at the state level.2 Along with walking, cycling accounts for 50 to 75% of the commuter trips for those in the informal sector in urban areas.9
Even though India is the second largest producer of bicycles in the world,17 a significant prejudice against bicycle riding for transport exists in some segments of the population, generally stemming from the status symbol aspect of the motor vehicle.17 In India, the word "bike" generally refers to motorcycle, and "cycle" refers to bicycle.17
Pune was the first city in India to have dedicated lanes for cycles.18 It was built for the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games. However, recent developments in Delhi suggest that bicycle riding is fast becoming popular in the metro cities of India. The Delhi government has decided to construct separate bicycle lanes on all major roads to combat pollution and ease traffic congestion.19
This type of transport is still available in the city of Kolkata wherein a person pulls the rickshaw by hand. The Government of West Bengal proposed a ban on these rickshaws in 2005 describing them as "inhuman".20 Though a bill aiming to address this issue, termed as 'Calcutta Hackney Carriage Bill', was passed by the West Bengal Assembly in 2006, it has not been implemented yet.21 The Government of West Bengal is working on an amendment of this bill to avoid the loopholes that got exposed when the Hand-pulled Rickshaw Owner's Association filed a petition against the bill.21
Cycle rickshaws were introduced in India in the 1940s.22 They are bigger than a tricycle where two people sit on an elevated seat at the back and a person pedals from the front. In the late 2000s, they were banned in several cities for causing traffic congestion.232425 Cycle rickshaws have been a feature of Delhi streets since Indian independence in 1947, providing the cheapest way around the capital. The Delhi Police recently submitted an affidavit against plying of cycle rickshaws to ease traffic congestion in the city but it was dismissed by the Delhi High court.26 In addition, environmentalists have supported the retention of cycle rickshaws as a non-polluting and inexpensive mode of transport.27
Public transport is the predominant mode of motorised local travel in cities.9 This is predominantly by road, since commuter rail services are available only in the seven metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, while dedicated city bus services are known to operate in at least 25 cities with a population of over one million.28 Intermediate public transport modes like tempos and cycle rickshaws assume importance in medium size cities.9 However, the share of buses is negligible in most Indian cities as compared to personalized vehicles, and two-wheelers and cars account for more than 80 percent of the vehicle population in most large cities.28
Traffic in Indian cities generally moves slowly, where traffic jams and accidents are very common.29 India has very poor records on road safely—around 90,000 people die from road accidents every year.30 At least 13 people die every hour in road accidents in the country,also in the year 2007 road accidents claimed more than 130,000 lives, overtaking China.31 32 A Reader's Digest study of traffic congestion in Asian cities ranked several Indian cities within the Top Ten for worst traffic.29
The oldest Indian state transport undertaking is North Bengal State Transport Corporation founded by the Raj Durbar of Koch Bihar Kingdom regime on 1 April 1945 with three buses and three trucks. It is still vibrant and running, providing service to commuters of North Bengal region. Buses take up over 90% of public transport in Indian cities,33 and serve as a cheap and convenient mode of transport for all classes of society. Services are mostly run by state government owned transport corporations.28 However, after the economic liberalisation, many state transport corporations have introduced various facilities like low-floor buses for the disabled and air-conditioned buses to attract private car owners to help decongest roads.3435 Bengaluru was the first city in India to introduce Volvo B7RLE intra-city buses in India in January 2006.363738 Bengaluru is the first Indian city to have an air-conditioned bus stop, located near Cubbon Park. It was built by airtel.39 APSRTC has been acknowledged as the single corporation having the largest bus fleet in the world.4041 The city of Chennai houses one of Asia's largest bus terminus, the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus.42 In 2009, the Government of Karnataka and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation flagged off a pro-poor bus service called the Atal Sarige. The service aims to provide low-cost connectivity to the economically backward sections of the society to the nearest major bus station.4344
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
New initiatives like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems and air conditioned buses have been taken by the various state government to improve the bus public transport systems in cities. The idea of a BRT concept in India - based on the successful system in Curitiba, Brazil - was first introduced in the year 2000 in the form of a feasibility study for Bangalore carried out by Swedish consultants but was not implemented at the time. Today, however, the concept has caught on and Bus Rapid Transit systems already exist in Pune, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Jaipur with new ones coming up in Kolkata Hyderabad Lucknow and Bangalore. High Capacity buses can be found in cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Chennai. 45
Most of the traditional taxicabs in India are either Premier Padmini or Hindustan Ambassador cars.46 Depending on the city/state, taxis can either be hailed or hired from taxi-stands. In cities such as Ahmedabad,Bengaluru, Hyderabad,taxis need to be hired over phone,47 whereas in cities like Kolkata and Mumbai, taxis can be hailed on the street. According to government of India regulations, all taxis are required to have a fare-meter installed.48 There are additional surcharges for luggage, late-night rides and toll taxes are to be paid by the passenger. Since 2006, radio taxis have become increasingly popular with the public due to reasons of safety and convenience.49 In cities and localities where taxis are expensive or do not ply as per the government or municipal regulated fares, people use share taxis. These are normal taxis which carry one or more passengers travelling to destinations either en route to the final destination, or near the final destination.citation needed The passengers are charged according to the number of people with different destinations. A similar system exists for autorickshaws, known as share autos.citation needed The city of Mumbai will soon be the first city in India, to have an "in-taxi" magazine, titled MumBaee, which will be issued to taxis which are part of the Mumbai Taximen's Union. The magazine debuted on 13 July 2009.50
An auto rickshaw is a three-wheeler vehicle for hire that has no doors and is generally characterised by a small cabin for the driver in the front and a seat for passengers in the rear.51 Generally it is painted in yellow, green or black colour and has a black, yellow or green canopy on the top, but designs vary considerably from place to place. The color of the autorickshaw is also determined by the fuel that it is powered by, for example Ahmedabad and Delhi have green autos indicating the use of compressed natural gas, whereas the autos of Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore have green or black autos indicating the use of LPG.citation needed
In Mumbai and other metropolitan cities, 'autos' or 'ricks' as they are popularly known have regulated metered fares. A recent law prohibits auto rickshaw drivers from charging more than the specified fare, or charging night-fare before midnight, and also prohibits the driver from refusing to go to a particular location. Mumbai and Kolkata are also the only two cities which prohibit auto rickshaws from entering a certain part of the city, in these cases being South Mumbai and certain parts of Downtown Kolkata.52 However, in cities like Chennai, it is common to see autorickshaw drivers demand more than the specified fare and refuse to use fare meter 53
Airports and railway stations at many cities such as Howrah, Chennai and Bengaluru provide a facility of prepaid auto booths, where the passenger pays a fixed fare as set by the authorities for various locations.54
The present suburban railway services in India are limited and are operational only in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad .28 The Mumbai Suburban Railway is the first rail system in India which began services in Mumbai in 1867, transports 6.3 million passengers daily and has the highest passenger density in the world.55 The first rapid transit system in India, the Kolkata Suburban Railway, was established in Kolkata in 1854.56 Its first service ran between Howrah and Hooghly covering a distance of 38.6 km (24 mi).
The first modern rapid transit in India is the Kolkata Metro and started its operations in 1984,this is also the 17Th Zone of the Indian Railways.57 The Delhi Metro in New Delhi is the second conventional metro and began operations in 2002. The Namma Metro in Bengalore is India's third operational rapid transit and began operations in 2011. Currently, rapid transit systems have been deployed in these cities and more are under construction or in planning in several major cities of India.
Cities that have a metro system:
Metro systems under Construction
- Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon
- Jaipur Metro
- Chennai Metro
- Mumbai Metro
- Navi Mumbai Metro
- Kochi Metro
- Hyderabad Metro
Monorail in India is generally considered as feeder system for the Metro train. Mumbai Monorail will be the first monorail in India58 (excluding the Skybus Metro Test Track in Goa) since the Patiala State Monorail Trainways closed in 1927.
Green background for the systems that are currently under construction. Blue background for the systems that are currently in planning.
|System||City||Opening Year||System length (km)||No. of lines||No. of lines under construction|
|Navi Mumbai Monorail||Navi Mumbai||2014||38||2|
|This section requires expansion. (July 2013)|
Like Monorails, Light rail is also considered as a feeder system for the Metro systems. Two Light rail projects have been proposed in Delhi and Kolkata.
|System||City||Opening Year||System length (km)||No. of lines||No. of lines under construction|
|Delhi Light Rail Transit||Delhi||45||3|
The advent of the British saw trams being introduced in many cities including Mumbai and Kolkata. The Kolkata tram is currently the only tram system in the country and provides an emission-free means of transport in Kolkata while the other tram systems in India were phased out. The nationalised Calcutta Tramways Company is in the process of upgrading the existing tramway network at a cost of 24 crore (US$3.7 million).59 Presently the limited tram system in India is extremely slow and technologically backward, new light rail projects are being proposed rather than tram projects which have one reason or another not been very successful in the countrycitation needed. However, there are some proposals to reintroduce trams as a new transport avatar in some new Indian cities.60 There are also plans to introduce trams in medium sized cities.61
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
Motorised two-wheel vehicles like scooters, motorcycles and mopeds are very popular mode of transport due to their fuel efficiency and ease of use in congested roads or streets. The number of two-wheelers sold is several times that of cars. There were 47.5 million powered two-wheelers in India in 2003 compared with just 8.6 million cars.62 Yamaha, Hero MotoCorp, Honda, TVS Motors, Bajaj Auto and Mahindra 2 Wheelers are the largest two-wheeler companies in terms of market-share.63 Royal Enfield, an iconic brand name in the country, manufactures different variants of the British Bullet motorcycle which is a classic motorcycle that is still in production.64
Manufacture of scooters in India started when Automobile Products of India (API), set up at Mumbai and incorporated in 1949, began assembling Innocenti-built Lambretta scooters in India post independence.citation needed They eventually acquired licence for the Li150 series model, of which they began full-fledged production from the early sixties onwards.citation needed In 1972, Scooters India Ltd (SIL), a state-run enterprise based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, bought the entire manufacturing rights of the last Innocenti Lambretta model. API has infrastructural facilities at Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Chennai but has been non-operational since 2002. SIL stopped producing scooters in 1998.citation needed
Private vehicles account for 30% of the total transport demand in urban areas of India. An average of 963 new private vehicles are registered every day in Delhi alone.65 The number of automobiles produced in India rose from 63 lakh (6.3 million) in 2002-03 to 1.1 crore (11.2 million) in 2008-09.66 However, India still has a very low rate of car ownership. When comparing car ownership between BRIC developing countries, it is on a par with China,62 and exceeded by Brazil and Russia.67
Compact cars, especially hatchbacks predominate due to affordability, fuel efficiency, congestion, and lack of parking space in most cities. Maruti, Hyundai and Tata Motors are the most popular brands in the order of their market share. The Ambassador once had a monopoly but is now an icon of pre-liberalisation India, and is still used by taxi companies. Maruti 800 launched in 1984 created the first revolution in the Indian auto sector because of its low pricing. It had the highest market share until 2004, when it was overtaken by other low cost models from Maruti such as the Alto and the Wagon R, the Indica from Tata Motors and the Santro from Hyundai. Over the 20 year period since its introduction, about 24 lakh (2.4 million) units of the Maruti 800 have been sold.68 However, with the launch of the Tata Nano, the least expensive production car in the world,69 maruti 800 lost its popularity.
India is also known for a variety of indigenous vehicles made in villages out of simple motors and vehicle spare-parts. A few of these innovations are the Jugaad, Maruta, Chhakda, peter rehda and the Fame.70
In the city of Bengaluru, Radio One and the Bangalore Traffic Police, launched a carpooling drive which has involved celebrities such as Robin Uthappa, and Rahul Dravid encouraging the public to carpool.717273 The initiative got a good response, and by the end of May 2009, 10,000 people are said to have carpooled in the city.74
The first utility vehicle in India was manufactured by Mahindra and Mahindra. It was a copy of the original Jeep and was manufactured under licence.75 The vehicle was an instant hit and made Mahindra one of the top companies in India. The Indian Army and police extensively use Mahindra vehicles along with Maruti Gypsys for transporting personnel and equipment.
Tata Motors, the automobile manufacturing arm of the Tata Group, launched its first utility vehicle, the Tata Sumo, in 1994.7677 The Sumo, owing to its then-modern design, captured a 31% share of the market within two years.78 The Tempo trax from Force Motors till recently was ruling the rural areas. Sports utility vehicles now form a sizeable part of the passenger vehicle market.79 Models from Tata, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet and other brands are available.80
Rail services in India, first introduced in 1853, are provided by the state-run Indian Railways under the supervision of the Ministry of Railways. Indian Railways provides an important mode of transport in India, transporting over 18 million passengers and more than 2 million tonnes of freight daily across one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world.82 The proposal to construct to build the highest railway track in the world from Manali to Leh overtaking current record of Beijing-Lhasa Railway line has not been taken up for implementation. By 1947, the year of India's independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. Indian Railways is divided into sixteen zones, which are further sub-divided into sixty seven divisions, each having a divisional headquarters.8384
The rail network traverses through the length and breadth of the country, covering more than 7,000 stations over a total route length of more than 65,000 km (40,000 mi) and track length of about 115,000 km (71,000 mi).82 About 22,224 km (13,809 mi) or 34% of the route-kilometre was electrified as on 31 March 2012.85 Indian Railways is the world's largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.4 million employees.8687 As to rolling stock, IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives.86 It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities. It operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, metre and narrow gauges, and is in the process of converting most of the metre gauge (5,000 km (3,100 mi) at end of 2012) and narrow gauge tracks into broad gauge in a project called Project Unigauge.
The Indian Railways runs a number of special types of services which are given higher priority. The Rajdhani trains introduced in 1969 provides connectivity between the national capital, Delhi and capitals of the states. On the other hand, Shatabdi Express provides connectivity between centres of tourism, pilgrimage or business. The Shatabdi Express trains run over short to medium distances and do not have sleepers while the Rajdhani Expresses run over longer distances and have only sleeping accommodation. Both series of trains have a regular speed of 110 to 140 km/h (81 to 87 mph) but average speed of less than 100 kmph.citation needed The 12001 Bhopal Shatabdi express, however, runs at a peak speed of 150 km/h on small stretches which makes it the fastest train in India. The other specialised services operated by the Railways are the Duronto Express (without any commercial stop between the origin and the destination but with a few technical stops for crew change and food intake) and Garib Raths that provide cheap no-frill airconditioned rail travel. Besides, The Indian Railways also operates a number of luxury trains which cater to various tourist circuits. For instance, the Palace on Wheels serves the Rajasthan circuit and the The Golden Chariot serves the Karnataka and Goa circuits.citation needed There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on IR — the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus88 and the Mountain railways of India. The latter is not a contiguous railway line but comprises the following three separate historic railway lines located in different parts of India:89
- The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a 610 mm (2 ft) narrow gauge railway in West Bengal.
- The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge railway to Ooty in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu
- The Kalka-Shimla Railway, a 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) narrow gauge railway in the Shivalik mountains in Himachal Pradesh.
- The Maharaja Railways (Gwalior Light Railway), a 610 mm (2 ft) narrow gauge line from Gwalior to Sheopur of 198 km. in length is world's longest narrow gauge railway line in the UNESCO world heritage tentative list.citation needed
- The Neral-Matheran Railway, a 20 km long 610 mm (2 ft) narrow gauge railway connecting Matheran just north of Bombay is also a historic line.
The Indian Railways has also initiated a number of highly ambitious projects to provide connectivity to the remote and inaccessible areas of the country.citation needed The 738 km long Konkan Railway with 2000 bridges and 91 tunnels is one such highly difficult project through fragile mountainous terrain of the Konkan regioncitation needed to connect two important port cities of Mangalore and Mumbai by a short route and was constructed in 1991-1998. Another such highly ambitious project is the Kashmir Railway, the Kashmir valley part of which was completed in 2009.90
Proposals have been made to construct high-speed railway lines in India but no concrete action has been taken. In 1999, the Konkan Railway Corporation introduced the Roll On Roll Off (RORO) service, a unique road-rail synergy system, on the section between Kolad in Maharashtra and Verna in Goa,91 which was extended up to Surathkal in Karnataka in 2004.9293 The RORO service, the first of its kind in India, allowed trucks to be transported on flatbed trailers. It was highly popular,94 carrying about 1,10,000 trucks and bringing in about 74 crore worth of earnings to the corporation till 2007.95
As the railway tracks from Kandla, Pipavav, Mundra and other ports in Saurashtra to Ahmedabad and Palanpur and then to Rewari via Ringas are not electrified, freight trains (goods trains) with containers double-stacked ply on this route to Rewari junction and then take the containers further north from Rewari. Infringements like low road overbridges and foot overbridges that fouled with double-stacked containers were either dismantled or raised in years 2004-06 for running these freight trains. In India freight (goods) trains can carry standard containers double-stacked on flat-bed wagons with normal axle load of about 22 tonnes and do not require special low-bed wagons unlike in other countries that have (relatively narrow) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge. They carry almost 4000 tonnes per rake which is almost twice the load a normal goods train can haul. Some double-stacked container freight trains on this route through Rewari station also carry "high cube" containers that are 2896 mm (9 ft 6 inch) high (higher than standard containers that are generally 8 ft or 2.438 mm high) on special low-well wagons owned by private clients. Some private logistics operators have built container storage yards north of Rewari near Garhi Harsaru for this purpose.
Rail links between India and neighbouring countries are not well-developed. Two trains operate to Pakistan - the Samjhauta Express between Delhi and Lahore, and the Thar Express between Jodhpur and Karachi. Bangladesh is connected by a bi-weekly train, the Maitree Express that runs from Kolkata to Dhaka. Nominal rail links to Nepal exist — passenger services between Jaynagar and Bijalpura, and freight services between Raxaul and Birganj.96
No rail link exists with Myanmar but a railway line is to be built through from Jiribam (in Manipur) to Tamu through Imphal and Moreh.97 The construction of this missing link, as per the feasibility study conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs through RITES Ltd, is estimated to cost 2941 crore (US$450 million).98 An 18 km railway link with Bhutan is being constructed from Hashimara in West Bengal to Toribari in Bhutan. No rail link exists with either China or Sri Lanka,.99 A railway line is being built from Siliguri to Rangpo in Sikkim but there are no plans to extend it further north towards China.
India has a network of National Highways connecting all the major cities and state capitals, forming the economic backbone of the country. As of 2010, India has a total of 70,934 km (44,076 mi) of National Highways, of which 200 km (124 mi) are classified as expressways.100 Under National Highways Development Project (NHDP), work is under progress to equip some of the important national highways with four lanes; also there is a plan to convert some stretches of these roads to six lanes.101 However congestion and bureaucratic delays en route ensure that trucking goods from Gurgaon to the port in Mumbai can take up to 10 days.102
As per the National Highways Authority of India, about 65% of freight and 80% passenger traffic is carried by the roads. The National Highways carry about 40% of total road traffic, though only about 2% of the road network is covered by these roads.100 Average growth of the number of vehicles has been around 10.16% per annum over recent years.100 Highways have facilitated development along the route and many towns have sprung up along major highways. Road transport Benchmark Freight Index (BFI) initiative taken in India in recently by ITRANS.citation needed
All national highways are metalled, but very few are constructed of concrete, the most notable being the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. In recent years construction has commenced on a nationwide system of multi-lane highways, including the Golden Quadrilateral and North-South and East-West Corridors which link the largest cities in India. In 2000, around 40% of villages in India lacked access to all-weather roads and remained isolated during the monsoon season.5103
To improve rural connectivity, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (Prime Minister's Rural Road Program), a project funded by the Central Government with the help of World Bank, was launched in 2000 to build all-weather roads to connect all habitations with a population of 500 or above (250 or above for hilly areas).103104
As per 2009 estimates, the total road length in India is 3,320,410 km (2,063,210 mi);105 making the Indian road network the third largest road network in the world. At 0.66 km of highway per square kilometre of land the density of India’s highway network is higher than that of the United States (0.65) and far higher than that of China's (0.16) or Brazil's (0.20).5
|Type of Road||Length|
|Expressways||950 km (590 mi) as of 2011|
|National Highways||66,590 km (41,380 mi)|
|State Highways||131,899 km (81,958 mi)|
|Major District Roads||467,763 km (290,654 mi)|
|Rural and Other Roads||2,650,000 km (1,650,000 mi)|
|Total Length||3,300,350 km (2,050,740 mi) (Approx)|
Buses are an important means of public transport in India, particularly in the countryside and remote areas where the rail network cannot be accessed and airline operations are few or non-existent. Due to this social significance, public bus transport is predominantly owned and operated by public agencies, and most state governments operate bus services through a State Road Transport Corporation.106 These corporations, introduced in the 1960s and 1970s, have proven extremely useful in connecting villages and towns across the country.28
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the national regulatory body for the aviation industry. It is controlled by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The ministry also controls aviation related autonomous organizations like the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi and Public Sector Undertakings including Air India, Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.108
Air India is India's national flag carrier after merging with Indian in 2011109 and plays a major role in connecting India with the rest of the world.110 IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India, Spicejet and GoAir are the major carriers in order of their market share.111 These airlines connect more than 80 cities across India and also operate overseas routes after the liberalization of Indian aviation. Several other foreign airlines connect Indian cities with other major cities across the globe. However, a large section of country's air transport potential remains untapped, even though the Mumbai-Delhi air corridor was ranked 10th by Amadeus in 2012 among the world's busiest routes.112
Air India placed orders for more than 68 jets from Boeing for US$7.5 billion in 2006 while Indianin 2005 placed orders for 43 jets from Airbus for US$2.5 billion.113114 Jet Airways invested millions of dollars to increase its fleet,115 but was later put on hold due to the recent economic slowdown.116 IndiGo announced orders for 100 Airbus A320s worth US$6 billion during the Paris Air Show, the highest by any Asian domestic carrier.117 Kingfisher Airlines became the first Indian air carrier on 15 June 2005 to order Airbus A380 aircraft worth US$3 billion.118119
More than half a dozen low-cost carriers entered the Indian market in 2004-05. Major new entrants included Air Deccan, Air Sahara, Kingfisher Airlines, SpiceJet, GoAir, Paramount Airways and IndiGo. But Indian aviation industry struggled due to economic slowdown, rising fuel and operation costs. This led to consolidation, buy outs and discontinuations in the Indian airline industry. In 2007, Air Sahara and Air Deccan were acquired by Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines respectively. Paramount Airways ceased operations in 2010 and Kingfisher Airlines shut down in 2012. Etihad Airways agreed to acquire 24% stake in Jet in 2013. AirAsia India is a proposed low cost carrier scheduled to operate as a joint venture between Air Asia and Tata Sons. As of 2012-13, IndiGo is the only Indian carrier generating profits.
As of 2012, there are 352120 civilian airports in India - 251 with paved runways and 101 with unpaved runways. Of these, 66 are licensed by the DGCA in the public use category while 21 are licensed for private use.121 Most of these are managed by the AAI while the rest are owned by State Governments and private entities. There are more than 20 international airports in India. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai and Chennai International Airport, Chennai handle more than half of the air traffic in South Asia.122123124
|Length of runways||Airports
|3,047 m (10,000 ft) or more||21||1|
|2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft)||59||4|
|1,524 to 2,438 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft)||74||6|
|914 to 1,524 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft)||83||42|
|Under 914 m (3,000 ft)||14||48|
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited is a public sector company that provides helicopter services to ONGC to its off-shore locations, and also to various State Governments in India, particularly in North-east India.126
There are many major ports in India. Maritime transportation in India is managed by the Shipping Corporation of India, a government-owned company that also manages offshore and other marine transport infrastructure in the country. It owns and operates about 35% of Indian tonnage and operates in practically all areas of shipping business servicing both national and international trades.128
It has a fleet of 79 ships of 27.5 lakh GT (48 lakh DWT) and also manages 53 research, survey and support vessels of 1.2 Lakh GT (0.6 Lakh DWT) on behalf of various government departments and other organisations.129 Personnel are trained at the Maritime Training Institute in Mumbai, a branch of the World Maritime University, which was set up in 1987.130 The Corporation also operates in Malta and Iran through joint ventures.129
The ports are the main centres of trade. In India about 95% of the foreign trade by quantity and 70% by value takes place through the ports.131 Mumbai Port & JNPT(Navi Mumbai) handles 70% of maritime trade in India.132 There are twelve major ports: Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkata (including Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Ennore, Chennai, Tuticorin, New Mangalore, Mormugao and Kandla.133 Other than these, there are 187 minor and intermediate ports, 43 of which handle cargo.133
The distinction between major and minor ports is not based on the amount of cargo handled. The major ports are managed by port trusts which are regulated by the central government.citation needed They come under the purview of the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.citation needed The minor ports are regulated by the respective state governments and many of these ports are private ports or captive ports.citation needed The total amount of traffic handled at the major ports in 2005-2006 was 382.33 Mt.133
India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The total navigable length is 14,500 kilometers (9,000 mi), out of which about 5,200 km (3,231 mi) of river and 485 km (301 mi) of canals can be used by mechanised crafts.134 Freight transport by waterways is highly underutilised in India compared to other large countries. The total cargo moved by inland waterways is just 0.15% of the total inland traffic in India, compared to the corresponding figures of 20% for Germany and 32% for Bangladesh.135
Cargo that is transported in an organised manner is confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.citation needed The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration and regulation.citation needed The following waterways have been declared as National Waterways:
- National Waterway 1: Allahabad–Haldia stretch of the Ganga - Bhagirathi - Hooghly river system with a total length of 1,620 kilometers (1,010 mi) in October 1986.136
- National Waterway 2: Saidiya–Dhubri stretch of the Brahmaputra river system with a total length of 891 kilometers (554 mi) in 1988.136
- National Waterway 3: Kollam–Kottapuram stretch of the West Coast Canal along with Champakara and Udyogmandal canals, with a total length of 205 kilometers (127 mi) in 1993.136
- National Waterway 4: Bhadrachalam–Rajahmundry and Wazirabad–Vijaywada stretch of the Krishna–Godavari river system along with the Kakinada–Pondicherry canal network, with a total length of 1,095 km (680 mi) in 2007.137138
- National Waterway 5: Mangalgadi–Paradeep and Talcher–Dhamara stretch of the Mahanadi–Brahmani river system along with the East Coast Canal, with a total length of 623 km (387 mi) in 2007.137138
- Length of pipelines for crude oil is 20,000 km (12,427 mi).
- Length of Petroleum products pipeline is 15,000 km (9,321 mi).
- Length of Natural gas pipelines is 1,700 km (1,056 mi).
The above information was calculated in 2008.120
The National capital New Delhi has one of the largest CNG based transport systems as a part of the drive to bring down pollution. In spite of these efforts it remains the largest contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions in the city.139 The CNG Bus manufacturers in India are Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Swaraj Mazda and Hindustan Motors.140
In 1998, the Supreme Court of India published a Directive that specified the date of April 2001 as deadline to replace or convert all buses, three-wheelers and taxis in Delhi to compressed natural gas.141
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation was the first State Transport Undertaking in India to utilise bio-fuels and ethanol-blended fuels.142 KSRTC took an initiative to do research in alternative fuel forms by experimenting with various alternatives— blending diesel with biofuels such as honge, palm, sunflower, groundnut, coconut and sesame.143 In 2009, the corporation decided to promote the use of biofuel buses.144
- Transport in Himachal Pradesh
- Transport in Delhi
- Public transport in Mumbai
- Transport in Karnataka
- Transport in Chennai
- Transport in Kolkata
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