A well known and co-ordinated system of transport plays an important role in the sustained economic growth of a country. The present transport system of India comprises several modes of transport including rail, road, coastal shipping, air transport, etc. Transportation in India has recorded a substantial growth over the years both in spread of network and in output of the system. The Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways is responsbile for the formation and implementation of policies and programmes for the development of various modes of transport save the railways and the civil aviation.
The Railways in India provide the principal mode of tranportation for freight and passengers. It brings together people from the farthest corners of the country and makes possible the conduct of business, sightseeing, pilgrimage and education.
India has one of the largest road networks in the world, aggregating to about 33 lakh kilometers at present. The country's road network consists of National High-ways, State Highways, major/other district roads and villages/rural roads.'
Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India's economy. Approximately, 90 percent of the country's trade by volume (70 per cent in terms of value) is moved by sea. India has the largest merchant shipping fleet among the developing countries and ranks 20th amongst the countries with the largest cargo carrying fleet with 8.83 million GT as on 01.06.2008 and the average of the fleet being 18 years.
The coastline of India is dotted with 12 Major Ports and about 200 Non-major Ports. The Major Ports are under the purview of the central while the Non-major Ports come under the judrisdiction of the respective State Governments.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for the formulation of national policies and programmes for development and regulation of civil aviation and for devising and implementing schemes for orderly growth and expansion of civil air transport.
Inland Water Transport
India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. About 50 million tonnes of cargo corresponding to 2,82 billion tonne km was transported in 2005-2006 by Inland Water Transport (IWT). Its operations are currently restricted to a few stretches in the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly Rivers, the Brahmaputra, the Barak River, the rivers in goa, the backwaters in Kerala, inland waters in Mumbai and the deltaic regions of the Godavari-Krishna rivers.
Urban mass rapid transit
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. The Delhi Metro in New Delhi is India's second conventional metro and began operations in 2002. The Namma Metro in Bangalore 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 like Chennai which will be opened shortly.
Cities with metro systems:
- Kolkata Metro
- Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System
- Delhi Metro
- Bengaluru Metro
- Mumbai Metro
- Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon
- Jaipur Metro
- Chennai Metro
Metro systems under construction
- Hyderabad Metro
- Navi Mumbai Metro
- Kochi Metro
- Lucknow Metro (Started on 26 September 2014)
- MetroLink Express Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad
- Surat Metro