Read this article to learn about the importance of transport in development of countries economy:
Transport serves as lifelines for our nation and its modern economy. The economic activities and development of transport facilities go hand in hand.
Roads are natural routes of both passengers and freight transport. The patterns of roads in India are influenced by physiographic structure.
The main characteristics of road transport are its flexibility, reliability and speed. The road development started by interlinking important centres located inland and then extending them towards the coast.
The roads laid by Central Public Works Department (CPWD) are known as “National Highways”. Roads are of two types – Surface Roads, also called metalled roads made of cement, charcoal, etc., and Un-surfaced Roads or kuchha roads which are of little use during rains. Another kind is Border Roads made to maintain supply line with our guards and jawan irrespective of physical odds and harsh climate.
Germany was the first country to establish nationwide highway network. Tamil Nadu has highest density of surfaced roads (81.5 km per 100 sq. km.) and lowest density is in Arunachal Pradesh (2.4 km/100 sq. km).
The rail system along with roads reflect human communities, degree of civilization and level of technological development as they make traffic possible in those places where nature seems to have piled up obstacles. Railways were introduced in India in 1859.
But the first railway line was laid in North- East England to transport coal from mines of New Castle Region. It has solved the problem of road and canal traffic. The greatest railway densities are found in industrial regions of Europe and U.S.A. Belgium has the greatest density.
Railway patterns reveal three designs of network:
It connects distant lands that differ in economic activities and consolidate vast territories. The Australian Trans-Continental railway connects Sydney in the east to Perth in the west. The Trans-Siberian covers a distance of 9,332 km and links St Petersburg in the west to Vladivostok in the east. The Canadian Pacific connects Vancouver in the west with Halifax in the east.
2. The Intensive railway network connects two region in Northern Hemisphere, i.e., Europe and Eastern United States.
3. Intragressive Railways:
Railroads originate in the interior and moves towards the coast. It is found in South Africa. Japanese Railways are electrified and noted for speed and efficiency, e.g. Tokyo-Osaka or Tokalido Express.
It uses existing routes, e.g., rivers and seas and needs no special tracks except in the case of canals. It is the cheapest form of transport for large bulky loads Inland waterways are of three types—rivers, modified or canalised rivers and canals. Rivers like Amazon, the Changian (Yangtze Kiang), Zaire and Mississippi carry large stream craft over long distances. Canals are used in China and Europe.
Inland waterways are best developed in Europe and North America, e.g. Volga System, Rhine, St Lawrence, Amazon and Parana – Paraguay Waterways.
It is the cheapest means of transport across water barriers, that, separate producers from consumers, kilometres apart. The Major Ocean Trade Routes are:
1. The North Atlantic Route:
Some of the world’s largest sea terminals are located on this route like Rotterdam, Antwerp, London, Southampton, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
2. The Cape of Good Hope Route:
It connects Europe with South-east Asia and Far East. It was once the subsidiary alternative of Suez Canal Route.
3. The Mediterranean-Suez-Asiatic Route:
It opened in 1869, linking Europe with Far East and South Asia. Once this Suez Canal was considered the “Life line of Great Britain” because, oil supplied from Middle East and tropical raw materials and foodstuffs from Asia went through this canal. European nations made use of this short-cut to their Afro-Asian markets. It is 168 km long and maximum width is 365 metres. Its average depth is 16.15 metres and it has two corridors, one for west bound ships and other for east bound ships. It takes 15 hours to cross the canal.
4. The Panama Canal-West Indies-Central American Route:
It started in 1914 with completion of Panama Canal, eliminated the long and hazardous voyage round the stormy Cape Horn. Panama is the Gateway to the Pacific and has benefited countries on both Atlantic and Pacific seaboards.
It came into being after First World War and the first regular air-service started between London and Paris in 1919. It is relatively independent of physical barriers such as mountains, deserts, sea and ocean. The earliest countries to operate air lines were Britain, France and the U.S.A. Canada also has a relatively large volume of air traffic. Chicago airport is the busiest in the world.
There are some nodal points from where the air – routes radiates in all directions, e.g., London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Karachi, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Rio de Janeiro, etc. Soviet Asia and Africa lack Air Services.