2. Railways Indian Railways with 64,015 km route (in March 2009) is the second largest network in the world and biggest in Asia.
It operates on three gauges—the broad gauge (1.676 mm), the metre gauge (1 mm), and the narrow gauge (762 mm and 610 mm). The broad gauge accounts for about 52, 808km of route length and carries bulk of traffic, both freight and passenger. Till the end of March 2009 about 29% of the route kilometre, 41 per cent of running track kilometre and 42 per cent of total track kilometre was electrified. Indian Railways has been contributing to the industrial and economic landscape for over 159 years.
Of the two main segments—freight and passenger—of the Indian Railways, the freight segment accounts for roughly two-thirds of revenues. Within the freight segment bulk tariff accounts for nearly 95%, of which about 50% is coal. Indian Railways is divided into 16 zones. It is the biggest organised employer in the country which is employing about 16 lakh people. 3. Waterways Water transport can be broadly divided into two groups (1) Inland water transport and (2) Shipping. 4.
Inland Water Transport India has got about 14,000 km of navigable waterways which comprise rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. During the period from April 2009 to March 2010, all India major ports handled cargo traffic of 560.97 million tonnes. For development and regulation of inland waterways in the country the Inland Waterways Authority of India was set up in October, 1986.
The Head Office of the Authority is located at NOIDA. The Authority has the responsibility of development, maintenance and regulation of national waterways. The government has identified 10 important waterways for consideration to declare them as National Waterways. The Ganga between Allahabad and Haldia (1,620 km) is the longest National Waterway.
5. Shipping Shipping is divided into two categories—(i) Coastal shipping and (ii) Overseas shipping. 6. Coastal Shipping India has a long coastline of 7,517 km, a large number of ports (13 major and 200 operable minor and intermediate working ports) and a vast hinterland.
India’s coastal shipping tonnage as on August 31, 2010 was 693 vessels with 1008571GT and 1004746 DWT. 7. Overseas Shipping: Almost 75% of the country’s foreign trade volume (68% in terms of value) is moved by sea. The country has the largest merchant and shipping fleet among developing countries and ranks 16th in the world in shipping tonnage. The overseas fleet strength as on June 1, 2008 was 282 vessels with 7.
89 million Gross Tonnage (GT) and 13.55 million Dead Weight Tons (DWT). 8. Airways: Air transport is the quickest but expensive mode of transport.
In 1953, air transport was nationalised in India; two corporations were set up to operate transport services—the Indian Airlines were to operate internal services and Air India was to operate international services. A new chapter in the history of India’s air transport opened on March 1, 1994 when the Air Corporation Act, 1953 was repealed, it ended the monopoly of state-owned airlines. The entry of private enterprise in the aviation sector has helped to grow air transport. Civil Aviation Sector had undergone dramatic expansion during Tenth Five Year Plan. There are 10 scheduled airlines operating on the domestic network in 2008. Apart from this, in 2008, 86 companies were holding non-scheduled operators permit.
Air India was created in 2007 through the merger of Air India with Indian Airlines. The international airports in Delhi and Mumbai have been modernised through private sector participation. Greenfield airports at Hyderabad and Bangaluru had been opened for commercial operation on May 24, 2008.