Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 20 Transport And Communication

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Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 20 Transport And Communication

Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 20 Transport And Communication

Means of Transport
There are various ways means of transportation by which human beings move goods, commodities, ideas etc from one place to another place. Major means of transportation are as follows:

Land Transport
Transportation of people and goods by road transport is not new in India. Since ancient times, pathways and unmetalled roads have been in use for this purpose. With the technological advancement, there are now metalled roads, railways, cableways and pipelines for movement of large volume of goods and passengers.

Road Transport
India has its count in countries which is having largest road networks worldwide. India has a total road length of 42.3 lakhs km that places it among the countries which has largest road network.
Road transport carries about 85% of passenger and 70% of freight traffic every year. Road transport is preferable for short distance travel. The first attempt to improve and modernise road network was made in 1943 with ‘Nagpur Plan.’ But due to lack of coordination among princely states and British India, it remained unimplemented.

The second attempt was made after independence with twenty year road plan (1961) to improve the conditions of roads in India but still roads continue to concentrate in and around urban centres and rural and remote areas remained less connected by road.
For the purpose of construction and maintenance, roads are classified as National Highways (NH), State Highways (SH), Major District Roads and Rural Roads:

National Highways

  • NH referred to roads which are constructed and maintained by central government.
  • National Highways are meant for inter-state transport and movement of defence men and material in strategic areas.
  • In 2008-09, total length of National Highways was 70934 km which was 19700 km in 1951.
  • These highways connect the state capitals, major cities, important ports, railways junctions, etc and carry’ about 40% of the road traffic despite they constitute only 1.67% of total road length.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI – 1^95) is an autonomous body, under the Ministry of Surface Transport which is entrusted with the responsibility of development, maintenance, operation and for the improvement of the quality of national Highways.

National Highways Development Projects

  • Golden Quadrilateral It is 5846 km long 4/6 lane, high density corridor. It was meant to connect India’s four big metro cities of Delhi-Mumbai- Chennai-Kolkata. It will deduct the time-distance and cost of movement among the mega cities of India. Its construction help ip reducing the time distance and cost of movement among mega cities considerably.
  • North-South and East-West corridors The North-South corridor is a 4076 km long highway which is meant to connect Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir with Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu including Kochchi-Salem Spur. The East-West corridor is 3640 km long road which aims to connect Silchar in Assam with the port town of Porbandar in Gujarat.

State Highways
These roads are connected to the National Highways and join the state capitals with district headquarters and other important towns. Their share in the total road length is about 4%. State governments are responsible to construct and maintain these highways.

District Roads
These roads connect district headquarters and other important nodes in the district. They account for 60.83% of the total road length of the country.

Rural Roads
These roads provide links in the rural areas. About 33.86% of the total road length in India are categorised as rural roads.

Other Roads
These include Border Roads and International highways:

Border Roads
These are strategically important roads along the Northern and North-Eastern boundary of the country. Border Road Organisation (BRO) is responsible for construction and maintenance of these roads. It was established in May 1960 with the aim to accelerate economic development and strengthening defence preparedness through rapid and coordinated improvement of strategically important border roads.

BRO’s major achievement is construction of roads in high altitude mountainous terrain joining Chandigarh with Manali (Himachal Pradesh) and Leh (Ladakh). This road is located at the average height of 4270 meters above mean sea level.
The total length of border roads was 40450 km in 2005 which was constructed by BRO. Besides the construction and maintenance of roads in strategically sensitive areas. The BRO also undertakes snow clearance in high altitude area.
International Highways They are constructed with the aim to promote harmonious relationship with neighbouring countries and provide an effective connection with India.

Density of Roads

  • The distribution of roads is not uniform in the country. Density of roads (length of roads per 100 sq km of area) is the method to compare the network of roads of one area to another area. The national average road density is 125.02 km (2008).
  • The density of roads is influenced by nature of terrains, and level of economic development. As most of the Northern states and major Southern states have high density of roads (e.g. Uttar Pradesh has highest road density of 532.27 km), whereas Himalayan region, North-Eastern region, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have low density of roads (e.g. Jammu and Kashmir has lowest road density of 10.04 km).
  • Quality of roads, besides density, is also better in plains as compared to high altitude areas, rainy and forested regions.

Rail Transport

  • India has one of the longest railway network in the world. On one hand, it facilitates the movement of freight and passengers and on the other hand, it contributes to the growth of economy. Mahatama Gandhi said, the Indian railways, “brought people of diverse cultures together to contribute to India’s freedom struggle”
  • In 1853, the first Indian railway was started from Bombay to Thane covering a distance of 34 km.
  • Being the largest Government undertaking in India, Indian Railways network is 64460 km long (31th March, 2011).
  • To reduce the pressure of this large size railway from a centralised railway management system, Indian Railway system has been divided into seventeen zones.

These are as follows:

Railway Zone Headquarters

1.CentralMumbai CST
2.EasternKolkata
3.East CentralHojipur
4.East CoastBhubaneswar
5.NorthernNew Delhi
6.North-CentralAllahabad
7.North-EasternGorakhpur
8.North East FrontierMaligaon (Guwahati)
9.North-WesternJaipur
10.SouthernChennai
11.South CentralSecunderabad
12.South-EasternKolkata
13.South East CentralBilaspur
14.South-WesternHubli
15.WesternMumbai (Church Gate)
16.West CentralJabalpur
17.MetroKolkata

Gauges in Indian Railways
Indian Railways has been divided into three
categories. On the basis of the width of the track of Indian railways as follows:

  • Broad Gauge In broad gauge, the distance between rails is 1.676 metre. The total length of broad gauge lines is 55188 km in 2011.
  • Metre Gauge In metre gauge, the distance between the rails is 1 metre. The total length of metre gauge is 6809 km in 2011.
  • Narrow Gauge In narrow gauge, the distance between the rails is 0.762 metres or 0.610 metres. The total length of narrow gauge line is 2463 km in 2011. This category of railway lines is mostly found in the hilly areas.

Indian Railways has taken major steps to improve the performance of this means of transport like:

  1. To convert the metre and narrow gauges to broad gauge.
  2. Replacement of steam engine by diesel and electric engines which may help in keeping the environment clean.
  3. Introduction of metro rail in Kolkata and Delhi, etc.

Development of railways in India was started by the Britishers and after the independence, scenario has been changed by extending railway routes to other areas. Konkan railways along the western coast which provide a direct line between Mumbai and Mangalore was a significant development in this regard.

Konkan Railway is one of the important achievements of Indian Railways which was constructed in 1998. It is a 760 km long rail route which connects Roha in Maharashtra to Mangalore in Karnataka. It is considered an engineering marvel. Railway is still the most important means of transport for the masses. In the hill states, North-Eastern states, central part of India and Rajasthan, railway network is relatively less dense.

Water Transport
Water transport is the cheapest means of transport for carrying heavy and bulky material as well as passenger services. It is a fuel efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport. The water transport is of two types:

  1. Inland Waterways
  2. Oceanic Waterways

Inland Waterways
Before the introduction of railways, inland waterways was the chief mode of transport. But, now it is losing its significance due to:

  1. Tough competition from road and railway transport.
  2. Diversion of river water for irrigation purposes made them non-navigable in large parts of their courses.

India has 14500 km of navigable waterways which accounts for about 1% of country’s transportation.
It includes rivers, canals backwater, creeks etc. At present 3700 km of major rivers are navigable by mechanised flat bottom vessels, but out of it only 2000 are actually used. Similiarly, out of 4800 km of the network of navigable canal, only 900 km is navigable by mechanised vessels.

The Inland Waterways Authority which was setup in 1986 is responsible for the development, maintenance and regulation of national waterways in the country. Currently, there are three inland waterways which are considered as national waterways by the authority. Description of these waterways are as follows:

Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 20 Transport And Communication 1%2Bmod%2Beducation

Oceanic RoutesTen other inland waterways have been identified by inland waterways authority. The backwaters (Kadal) of Kerala has special significance which not only provides transport but also attract tourists here. The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race (Vallamkali) is also held in the backwaters.

  • These play an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy.
  • India’s vast coastline of about 7,517 km (including islands) easily facilitates this type of transport. There are twelve major and 185 minor ports which provide infrastructural support to these routes.
  • About 95% of India’s foreign trade by volume and 70% by value moves through ocean routes.
  • These routes give international trade service as well as provide transportation between the islands and the rest of the country.

Air Transportation
Air transport facilitates the fastest movement of goods and passengers from one place to another place. It is good for long distances and areas which have uneven terrain and climatic conditions. Air transport in India was started in 1911 with a short distance, (10 km) airmail operation from Allahabad to Nairn.

The Airport Authority of India is responsible for providing safe, efficient air traffic and aeronautical communication services in the Indian Air space. Now it manages 126 airports including 11 international, 86 domestic and 29 civil enclaves at defence air fields. There are two corporations, Air India and Indian Airlines which manage air transport in India. Both corporations were nationalised in 1953. Now many private companies have also started passenger services.

Air India
It is a corporation of India which provides International Air Service for both passengers and cargo traffic. It connects all the continents of the world through its services.

Indian Airlines
Indian Airlines, the largest state owned domestic carrier changed its names to ‘Indian by dropping’ word ‘Airlines’ in 8th December, 2005. The new brand name ‘Indian’ now appears on both sides of the fuselage. The logo depicting IA which was used to be display on orange tail is now replaced by a new logo. New logo is apartly visible blue wheel and is inspired by the Sun Temple at Konark (Odisha), symbolising timeless motion, convergence and divergence. It also represents strength as well as trust that has stood the test of time.

History of Indian Airlines

  • 1911-Air transport in India was launched between Allahabad and Naini.
  • 947-Air transport was provided by four major companies namely Indian National Airways, Tata Sons Limited, Air Services of India and Deccan Airways.
  • 1951-Four more companies joined the services i.e. Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation Limited, Airways India and Kalinga Airlines.
  • 1953-Air transport was nationalised and two corporations, Air India international and Indian Airlines were formed. Now, Indian Airlines is known as Indian.
  • Pawan Hans is the major organisation in India which provides helicopter services in hilly areas, for tourism in North-Eastern sector and mainly to petroleum sector and tourism.

Oil And Gas Pipelines
Pipelines are convenient and best means of transporting liquids and gases over long distances. These can also transport solids after converting them into slurry. Oil India Limited (OIL) is responsible for exploration, production and transportation of crude oil and natural gas.

Its one of the major achievement is the construction of Asia’s first cross country pipeline. This pipeline covers a distance of 1157 km from Naharkatiya oil field in Assam to Barauni refinery in Bihar. In 1966, this pipeline was further extended to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

In Western region of India, OIL also constructed extensive network of pipelines – Ankleshwar-Koyali, Mumbai High-Koyal and Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipelines. Recently, a pipeline is also constructed from Salaya (Gujarat) to Mathura (Uttar Pradesh). It is 1256 km long pipeline which transport crude oil from Gujarat to Punjab (Jalandhar) via Mathura. Construction of a 660 km long pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri is also in progress.

Communication Networks
A number of communication cum-transportation means have been used since human history, for e.g. messages ware delivered by beating drum or hollow tree trunks, giving indication through smoke or fire or with the help of fast runners. Development in the field of science and technology brought many revolutionary inventions in means of communication like post office, telegraph, printing press, telephone, satellite, etc.

On the basis of scale and quality, the mode of communication can be divided into following categories:

Personal Communication System

  • The most advanced and best means among all personal communication system is internet which is widely used in urban cities.
  • E-mail is the main source through which a user can directly connect with others and can also get access to the world of knowledge and information.
  • Use of internet is increasing for e-commerce and carrying out money transactions.
  • The internet is like a huge control warehouse of data, with detailed information on various items.
  • It is a cheaper mode of communication which provides an efficient access to information at a comparatively low cost.
  • Letters, telephone, fax are also used for personal communication.

Mass Communication System Radio

  • Radio broadcasting was started in 1923 by Radio Club of Bombay. Within short time, it gained immense popularity and became a part of every househod in India.
  • After seeing its popularity, the government of India, in 1930 took the control of this mode of communication under Indian Broadcasting System.
  • It was changed to All India Radio in 1936 and to Akashwani in 1957.
  • It broadcasts various programmes related to information, education, entertainment and special news bulletins on special session of parliament and state legislature.

Television (TV)

  • Television (TV) broadcasting has emerged as the most effective audio-visual medium for disseminating information and educating masses.
  • First television broadcasting was started in National Capital in 1959. Till 1972, it was the only urban place where TV services were available.
  • After 1972, several other centres became operational. In 1976, TV broadcasting services were separated by All India Radio and got a separate identity as Doordarshan (DD).
  • Its revolutionary development began after the launch of INSAT-IA (National Television -D1) when Common National Programmes (CNP) were started for the entire network and its services were extended to the backward and remote rural areas.

Satellite Communication
Satellite is an advanced mode of communication. They also regulate the use of other means of communication. From economic and strategic point of view, use of satellite is very vital for the country as these give continuous and synoptic view larger area. Various operations can be done through satellite images, e.g. weather forcast, monitoring of natural calamities, surveillance of border areas, etc.
There are two satellite system in India on the basis of configuration and purposes:

Indian National Satellite System (INSAT)
This was established in 1983. It is a multi-purpose satellite system for telecommunication, meteorological observatioon and for various other data and programmes.

Indian Remote Sensing Satellite System (IRS)

  • The IRS satellite system started in India with the launch of IRS-IA in March 1988 from Vaikanour in Russia.
  • India has also developed her indigenous launching vehicle PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).
  • These remote sensing satellites collect data in several spectral band and transmit them to ground stations which is very useful in the management of natural resources and other various purposes.
  • The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) at Hyderabad is responsible for facilitating for acquisition of data and its processing.

NCERT Solution for Class 12 Geography Notes chapter wise

Class 12 Geography Notes : Fundamentals of Human Geography
Chapter PDF NCERT Notes
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 1 Human Geography (Nature and Scope)
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 2 The World Population (Distribution, Density and Growth)
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 3 Population Composition
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 4 Human Development
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 5 Primary Activities
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 6 Secondary Activities
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 7 Tertiary and Quaternary Activities
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 8 Transport and Communication
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 9 International Trade
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 10 Human Settlements
Class 12 Geography Notes: India – People and Economy
Chapter PDF NCERT Notes
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 11 Population: Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 12 Migration: Types, Causes and Consequences
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 13 Human Development
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 14 Human Settlements
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 15 Land Resources and Agriculture
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 16 Water Resources
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 17 Mineral and Energy Resources
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 18 Manufacturing Industries
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 19 Planning and Sustainable Development in Indian Context
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 20 Transport And Communication
Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 21 International Trade
Class 12 Geography NotesChapter 22 Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems

Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 20 Transport And Communication TEXTUAL QUESTION & ANSWER

Q.1. In how many railway zones India is divided?

(a) 9      

(b) 16     

(c) 12       

(d) 14

Ans :- (b) 16

Q.2. Which one of the following is the longest highway in India?

(a) N.H -1

(b) N.H. – 6

(c) N.H.-7

(d) N. H. – 37

Ans :- (c) N.H. – 7

Q.3. In which of the following years, the first radio programme was broadcasted?

(a) 1911    

(b) 1923     

(c) 1927   

(d) 1936

Ans :- (b) 1923

Q.4. Which one of the following is the cheapest means of transport?

(a) Roadways

(b) Railways

(c) Waterways

(d) Airways

Ans :- (c) Waterways

VERY SHORT TYPE QUESTION & ANSWER

Q.5. What are the major means of transport?

Ans :- Three major means of transportation are :

(i) Roads

(ii) Railways

(iii) Waterways

Q.6. What are the two types of water transport? 

Ans :- Inland and Seaways.

Q.7. What is the East-West corridor?

Ans :- Expressway connecting Silchar (in Assam) with Porbandar (in Gujarat) is East-West Corridor.

Q.8. What is the North-South corridor? 

Ans :- Expressing connecting Srinagar with Kanyakumari is known as North-South Corridor.

Q.9. What is Expressway National Highways?

Ans :- Roads with 4 to 6 lanes to meet requirements of fast traffic in the country are called Expressway National Highways.

SHORT TYPE QUESTION & ANSWER : (MARKS – 3)

Q.10. Discuss the importance of Means of Communication.

Ans :- Devices used to talk, or to send messages from one end to another, or from one person to another are called means of communication. Means of Communication are the most necessary part of modern lifestyle. In the modern age, there are many types of means of communications like News Paper. Telephone, Mobile, TV, Internet etc. They play a very important role in our daily life activities. There is great Importance of Means of Communications in everyone’s life, in this age.

Q.11. Write main features of road transport in India. 

Ans :- The roads are the connecting links between the various parts of a country.

The characteristics of road transport are :

(i) They require a relatively small investment by the government,

(ii) They are cheaper,

(iii) Construction and maintenance is cheaper, 

(iv) Road transport saves time,

(v) It is the only means of transport that offers to the whole community alike.

(vi) Road transport or road transportation is the transport of passengers or goods on roads.

Q.12. Discuss National Highway Development Project. 

Ans :- The National Highways Development Project is a project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard. The project was implemented in 1998 under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “National Highways” account for only about 2% of the total length of roads, but carry about 40% of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country. This project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The NHAI has implemented US$ 71 billion for this project, as of 2006.

The project is composed of the following phases :

(i) Phase I: The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ; 5,846 km) connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This project connecting four metro cities, would be 5,846 km (3,633 mi). Total cost of the project is Rs.300 billion (US$6.8 billion), funded largely by the government’s special petroleum product tax revenues and government borrowing. In January 2012, India announced the four lane GQ highway network as complete.

(ii) Phase II: North-South and East-West corridor comprising national highways connecting four extreme points of the country. The North-South and East-West Corridor (NS-EW: 7300 km) connecting. Srinagar in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, including spur from Salem to Kanyakumari (Via Coimbatore and Kochi) and Silchar in the east to Porbandar in the west. 

Total length of the network is 7,300 km (4,500 mi). As of April 2012, 84.26% of the project had been completed and 15.7% of the project work is currently at progress. It also includes Port connectivity and other projects – 1,157 km (719 mi). The final completion date to February 28, 2009 at a cost of Rs.350 billion (US$8 billion), with funding similar to Phase 1.

(iii) Phase III: The government recently approved NHDP-III to upgrade 12.109 km (7,524 mi)of national highways on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, which takes into account high-density traffic, connectivity of state capitals via NHDP Phase I and II, and connectivity to centres of economic importance contracts have been awarded for a 2.075 km (1,289 mi).

(iv) Phase IV: The government is considering widening 20.000 km (12,000 mi) of highway that were not part of Phase I, II, or III. Phase IV will convert existing single lane highways into two lanes with paved shoulders. The plan will soon be presented to the government for approval.

(v) Phase V: As road traffic increases over time, a number of four lane highways will need to be upgraded/expanded to six lanes. The current plan calls for an upgrade of about 5.000 km (3,100 mi) of four lane roads, although the government has not yet identified the stretches.

(vi) Phase VI: The government is working on constructing express ways that would connect major commercial and industrial townships. It has already identified 400 km (250 mi) of Vadodara (car- lier Baroda)-Mumbai section that would connect to the existing Vadodara (carlier Baroda)-Ahmedabad section. The World Bank is studying this project. The project will be funded on BOT basis. The 334 km (208 mi) Expressway between Chennai, Bangalore and 277 km (172 mi) Expressway between Kolkata – Dhanbad has been identified and feasibility study and DPR contract has been awarded by NHAI.

(vii) Phase VII: This phase calls for improvements to city road networks by adding ring roads to enable easier connectivity with national highways to important cities. In addition, improvements will be made to stretches of national highways that require additional flyovers and bypasses given population and housing growth along the highways and increasing traffic. The government has not yet identified a firm investment plan for this phase. The 19 km (12 mi) long Chennai Port– Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway is being executed under this phase.

Q.13. Why is the rural road density very low in hilly, plateau and forested areas?

Ans :- Reasons for the low rural road density are :

(i) Construction of roads is very difficult in hilly, plateau and forested areas.

(ii) During the rainy season landslides cause tremendous damage to roads in hilly and plateau areas.

(iii) The sparse population has hampers road development in these areas.

Q.14. Who built the GT Road? Write a short note on GT Road and its present status.

Ans :- Grand Trunk Road was built by Sher Shah Suri.

The Grand Trunk Road is one of Asia’s oldest and longest major roads. For more than two millennia, it has linked the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, connecting South Asia with Central Asia. It runs from Chittagong, Bangladesh west to Howrah, West Bengal in In India, running across Northern India into Lahore in Pakistan, further up to Kabul in Afghanistan. Its former names include UttaraPatha (“Road to North”), Shah Rah-e-Azam (“Great Road”) or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak.

The route spanning the Grand Trunk (GT) road existed during the Maurya Empire, extending from the mouth of the Ganges to the north-western frontier of the Empire. The predecessor of the modem road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri, who renovated and extended the ancient Mauryan route in the 16th century. The road was considerably upgraded in the British period between 1833 and 1860. 

Today, the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) remains a continuum that covers a distance of over 2,500 kilometres (1.600 mi), From its origin at Chittagong, it traverses to Sonargaon in the Narayanganj District of central Bangladesh, it reaches India, passing through Howrah, Bardhaman, Panagarh (where it passes Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary), Durgapur, Asansol. Dhanbad. Aurangabad, Dehri-on-sone, Sasaram, Mohania, Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Kalianpur, Kannauj, Etah, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Delhi, Panipat, Karnal, Ambala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar. 

Within India, the major portion of the road – the stretch between Howrah to Kanpur is NH-2 and Kanpur to Delhi – is known as NH-91 and that between Delhi and Wagah, at the border with Pakistan, is known as NH-1. From the Pakistan border the Grand Trunk Road (part of the N-5) continues north through Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock District, Nowshera, Peshawar and Landi Kotal. It then enters Afghanistan through the Khyber pass and continues west through Jalalabad, Surobi and ends at Kabul, a large part of the Afghan leg of Grand Trunk Road is today part of the Jalalabad-Kabul Road.

The Grand Trunk Road continues to be one of the major arteries of India and Pakistan Pakistan has further developed its own extensive and large network of controlled access Motorways and Expressways. The Indian section is part of the ambitious Golden Quadrilateral project. For over four centuries, the Grand Trunk Road has remained, in the words of author Rudyard Kipling: “such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world”.

Q.15. Explain satellite communication.

Ans :- Satellites are a mode of communication in themselves as well as they regulate the use of other means of communication. However, use of satellites in getting a continuous and synoptic view of a larger area has made satellite communication very vital for the country due to the economic and strategic reasons. Satellite images can be used for the weather forecast, monitoring of natural calamities, surveillance of border areas, etc.

Q.16. Give a description on the Development of Railways in India. 

Ans :- Indian Railways has launched an extensive programme to convert the metre and narrow gauges to broad gauge. Moreover, steam engines have been replaced by diesel and electric engines. This step has increased the speed as well as the haulage capacity.

The replacement of steam engines run by coal has also improved the environment of the stations.

Metro rail has revolutionised the urban transport system in Kolkata and Delhi, replacement of diesel buses by CNG run vehicles along with introduction of metro is a welcome step towards controlling the air pollution in urban centres. The most significant development has been the development of Konkan Railway along the western coast providing a direct link between Mumbai and Mangalore.

Q.17. Give a note on the National Highway Development Project. 

Ans :- The National Highways Development Project is a project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard. The project was implemented in 1998 under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “National Highways” account for only about 2% of the total length of roads, but carry about 40% of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country. This project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The NHAI has implemented US$ 71 billion for this project, as of 2006.

The project is composed of the following phases :

(i) Phase I: The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ; 5,846 km) connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This project connecting four metro cities, would be 5,846 km (3,633 mi). Total cost of the project is Rs.300 billion (US$6.8 billion), funded largely by the government’s special petroleum product tax revenues and government borrowing. In January 2012, India announced the four lane GQ highway network as complete.

(ii) Phase II: North-South and East-West corridor comprising national highways connecting four extreme points of the country. The North-South and East-West Corridor (NS-EW: 7300 km) connecting. Srinagar in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, including spur from Salem to Kanyakumari (Via Coimbatore and Kochi) and Silchar in the east to Porbandar in the west. Total length of the network is 7,300 km (4,500 mi). As of April 2012, 84.26% of the project had been completed and 15.7% of the project work is currently at progress. It also includes Port connectivity and other projects – 1,157 km (719 mi). The final completion date to February 28, 2009 at a cost of Rs.350 billion (US$8 billion), with funding similar to Phase 1.

(iii) Phase III: The government recently approved NHDP-III to upgrade 12.109 km (7,524 mi)of national highways on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, which takes into account high-density traffic, connectivity of state capitals via NHDP Phase I and II, and connectivity to centres of economic importance contracts have been awarded for a 2.075 km (1,289 mi).

(iv) Phase IV: The government is considering widening 20.000 km (12,000 mi) of highway that were not part of Phase I, II, or III. Phase IV will convert existing single lane highways into two lanes with paved shoulders. The plan will soon be presented to the government for approval.

(v) Phase V: As road traffic increases over time, a number of four lane highways will need to be upgraded/expanded to six lanes. The current plan calls for an upgrade of about 5.000 km (3,100 mi) of four lane roads, although the government has not yet identified the stretches.

(vi) Phase VI: The government is working on constructing express ways that would connect major commercial and industrial townships. It has already identified 400 km (250 mi) of Vadodara (car- lier Baroda)-Mumbai section that would connect to the existing Vadodara (carlier Baroda)-Ahmedabad section. The World Bank is studying this project. The project will be funded on BOT basis. The 334 km (208 mi) Expressway between Chennai, Bangalore and 277 km (172 mi) Expressway between Kolkata – Dhanbad has been identified and feasibility study and DPR contract has been awarded by NHAI.

(vii) Phase VII: This phase calls for improvements to city road networks by adding ring roads to enable easier connectivity with national highways to important cities. In addition, improvements will be made to stretches of national highways that require additional flyovers and bypasses given population and housing growth along the highways and increasing traffic. The government has not yet identified a firm investment plan for this phase. The 19 km (12 mi) long Chennai Port– Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway is being executed under this phase.

Q.18. What measures do you suggest to streamline the National Highways?

Ans :- Measures to Streamline the National Highways :

(i) About 20% of the National Highways need widening from single to double lanes.

(ii) 70% of the two lane National Highways are to be strengthened.

(iii) Selected corridors on National Highways are to be converted into Express Highways. 

This task is not an easy one and involves a lot of money which our Government finds difficult to manage. Hence to cope with the situation the following measures have been taken by the Central Government : 

(i) National Highway Act has been amended to enable the Government to levy fees on certain sections of the National Highways.

(ii) The amendment will enable the private sector to undertake the construction, maintenance and operation of roads on “Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. This will complement the efforts made by Public Works Departments.

(iii) Measures formulated to encourage private sector participation in the road sector include :

(a) Permission to National Highway Authority of India to fund equity in private or public companies. 

(b) Central Government’s cash support in selected projects.

(c) Compensation to entrepreneurs where collection of toll tax is hampered. 

(d) Land acquisition procedure has been simplified to enable private entrepreneurs to set up metals, hotels, restaurants etc. on the highways.

(iv) In order to modernise the sector our Government has signed MOU’s with the governments of Malaysia and Canada to facilitate technical cooperation in road construction, maintenance and management.

The Central Government also constructs and maintains the border roads for the defence of the country. The Border Road Development Board constructs new roads, maintains the existing ones and surfaces them. The Northern and North Eastern Hilly States have been made more accessible through the development of these roads. Major achievements of the Board include building of the world’s highest roads from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Leh of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This road negotiates three major passes namely, Bara Lacha, Longchungia and Tanglangla lying between 4,875 and 5,485 metres altitude. The average height of the terrain is 4,270 metre. Now the interstate bus service has started between Leh and Manali.

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