CBSE NCERT Class X (10th) | Social Studies | Geography

Chapter – 7 Life Lines of National Economy


Means of Transport and Communication
Goods are transported from supply to demand locations by people called traders. Transport is a key factor that influences India’s rapid economic development. Based on the medium it uses, the means of transport can be divided into land transport, water transport and air transport.

Land transport includes roadways and railways and pipelines used to transport liquid and gaseous material over long distances.

Water transport can be classified as inland transport and overseas transport. Inland transport happens along coastline between two domestic ports or through inland waterways. Overseas transport involves sending goods from one country to another. Air transport can be classified as domestic and international. Private and government-run domestic airways connect different cities of India. International airways connect India with destinations in all parts of the world.

Modern advances in science and technology have not left any part of the world inaccessible. Thus, the world appears a much smaller place today.

Trade requires some means of exchanging ideas and connecting with people. This is where communication comes in. While transport physically transfers people and goods from one place to another, means of communication allow people in different locations to connect with each other without actually travelling.

Some common means of communication are radio, television, cinema, newspapers, the Internet, fax and phone services. A dense, efficient network of transport, and extensive, reliable means of communication are the true lifelines of trade and economic development for India and the rest of the world.

Roadways

The road network in India is amongst the most widespread in the world. The length of all the roads in India adds up to around 2.3 million kilometres.

Roadways have some practical advantages over railways:
  • Road is easier to construct at a lower cost.
  • Roads are easier to lay on undulating land and steep slopes, like in a mountainous region.
  • Is cheaper and transports a small number of people or goods over short distances.
  • Roads door-to-door connectivity.
  • Provides direct feeder links to other places of goods transport, like seaports, airports and railway stations.

From all-weather metalled roads made of concrete, cement or coal tar, to unpaved, unmetalled roads that go out of use in the rainy season. Based on their capacity to sustain traffic, roads are classified into the following six types: The Golden Quadrilateral Super Highways, National Highways, State Highways, District Roads, Border Roads and Other Roads.

The Golden Quadrilateral reduces travelling time between the major cities of India. The National Highways Authority of India, NHAI, will construct six-lane super highway connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. These roads will form four sides of a quadrilateral, and hence the name.

The east-west corridor connects Silchar in Assam to Porbandar in Gujarat. The north-south corridor connects Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Indian national highways are constructed and maintained by the Central Public Works Department, or CPWD.

In India, every national highway is given a unique number. Within a state, the roads linking the state capital with different district headquarters are called state highways. State highways are constructed and maintained by the Public Works Department, or PWD, of the state concerned.

The roads connecting a district headquarter to other destinations in the district are called district roads. These roads are constructed and maintained by the Zila Parishad concerned. The roads that run close to India’s international border in the north and north-eastern parts of the country are called Border Roads. Border Roads are constructed and maintained by the Border Roads Organisation that was set up in 1960.

Other roads are mostly rural roads that connect villages with nearby towns. The Government of India has launched a special programme called the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna to develop such rural roads and connect each village to a town by a motorable road.

The length of roads per hundred square kilometres of area is called road density. Jammu and Kashmir has the lowest road density at 10 kilometres, while Kerala has the highest at 375 kilometres. The average road density of Indian states is 75 kilometres.

India roadways are facing many challenges like:
  • The roads and national highways in India are not enough to accommodate the large volume of road traffic. This leads to frequent traffic jams.
  • 50% of the roads in India are unmetalled and become difficult during the monsoons.
  • Roads and bridges in most Indian cities are quite narrow.

Railways and Pipelines

In India, railways are the primary mode of transport for passengers and goods. The first train service began from Boribunder, now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, to Thane, 60 kilometres away in 1853.

The development of railways has not only helped in uniting India, but also promoted the growth of agriculture and economy.

The Indian railway network is spread over 63,221 route kilometres, connecting 7,031 railway stations all over the country, divided into 16 railway zones.

The vast Indian railways network is serviced by 7,739 locomotives, 29,236 coaches and 2,16,717 wagons. The distance between the two rails forming a railway track determines the gauge of the railway line. Indian railways operate on narrow gauge, meter gauge and broad gauge lines.

Broad gauge forms the biggest part of the Indian railway network. The Indian Railways have undertaken a programme, called Project Unigauge, to convert all metre gauge and narrow gauge railway lines into broad gauge lines.

The construction of railways depends largely on local terrain, and economic and administrative factors. The vast level lands of the northern plains with the huge population and resources were the most favourable areas for the expansion of railways. In the hilly peninsular region, railway lines were laid through hills, valleys and tunnels. The lofty mountains in the Himalayan region with lesser population and economic opportunities are not favourable for the construction of railways.

The sandy deserts of Rajasthan, the swamps of Gujarat, and the heavily forested regions of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are some of the challenges railways have overcome for expansion in these regions. The Konkan railway route is prone to landslides and sinking of railway lines. Considering the volume of passengers and goods transported, Indian Railways is more important to India’s economy than all other means of transport.

Our railways are facing certain challenges like:
  • Many passengers travel on trains without a proper ticket leading to a huge revenue loss to the railways
  • Misuse of the safety feature to stop the train
  • People disrupt railway traffic and damage railway property in the name of demonstrations.

Pipelines are networks of pipes that bring water into our house and take wastes away. Now pipelines are being used to transport several industrial materials.

There are three important gas and oil pipeline networks in India. An oil pipeline runs from the oil fields in Digboi in Assam to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh via Guwahati, Barauni and Allahabad. The main branches of this oil pipeline are Guwahati to Siliguri, Barauni to Haldia via Rajbandh, and Rajbandh to Maurigram.

Another oil pipeline runs from oil fields in Salaya in Gujarat to Jalandhar in Punjab. This oil pipeline passes through Viramgam, Mathura, Delhi and Sonipat. It has several branches leading to Koyali and Chakshu, etc.

A natural gas pipeline runs from the Hazira gas fields in Gujarat to Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh, while passing through Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh. Its branches supply gas to Kota in Rajasthan and several places like Barbala and Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Pipelines are difficult and expensive to construct. But once constructed, they require very little maintenance and save a lot of money by eliminating transport losses and delays.


Waterways and Airways
Sea trade has been practised in India since ancient times. Transport by waterways is the most fuel-efficient, cost-effective and environment-friendly way to carry heavy goods from one place to another.
Large rivers and backwaters provide around 14,500 kilometres of inland waterways in India where, only 3,700 kilometres of these are accessible to mechanised boats.

Inland waterways in India are provided by the rivers Ganga, Brahmputra, Godavari, Krishna, Brahmani, Barak, canals like the East-West canal, West Coast canal, Buckingham canal, Damodar Valley Corporation canal and the Sunderbans area.

National waterway number 1 on the Ganga connects Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal covering a distance of 1,620 kilometres. National waterway number 2 on the Brahmaputra connects Sadiya in Arunachal Pradesh to Dhubri in Assam covering a distance of 891 kilometres. National waterway number 3 on the West Coast canal in Kerala connects Kottapurma in the north to Ashtamudi Kayal in the south, covering a distance of 205 kilometres.

The major international trade from India is carried out from its ports that allow docking facilities for large vessels. India has a long coastline of around 7,516 kilometres along which lie 12 major and 181 medium and small ports.

Around 95% of India’s international trade is carried out from these 12 major ports which are:
  • The Kandla Port in the Gulf of Kutch handles exports and imports for the fertile plains and industrial belts spread over Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • The Mumbai Port is the largest port in India.
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Port at Navi Mumbai was constructed to decongest traffic at the old Mumbai port.
  • The Mormugao Port in Goa handles around 50% of the total iron ore exports from India.
  • The New Mangalore Port in Karnataka handles excellent quality iron ore from the Kudermukh mines.
  • The Kochi Port is a natural harbor and the last port on the south-west coast.
  • The Tuticorin Port in Tamil Nadu handles cargo bound for India as well as our neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
  • The Chennai Port which is one of the oldest artificial ports in India, and second only to Mumbai in terms of volume of trade and cargo handled.
  • The Vishakhapatnam Port is the country’s deepest, most protected landlocked port.
  • The Paradip Port in Orissa is the main centre for the export of iron ore.
  • The Haldia Port was developed to decongest the Kolkata Port.
  • The tidal port of Kolkata has a rich Ganga-Brahmaputra hinterland and is an inland port services by the river Hooghly.

Air travel is the quickest and one of the most comfortable means of transport. The main advantage of using airways is that it can easily cross all kinds of terrain - from mountains, deserts, rainforests and wetlands to oceans. Nationalised air transport in India began in 1953 with the launch of Air India and Indian Airlines. Air India operates international flights from India.

Indian Airlines and its fully owned subsidiary Alliance Air operate domestic flights in India. Indian Airlines operates international flights to some countries in south-east Asia, south Asia and the Middle East. A lot of private airlines operate domestic flights in India.

Helicopter is another means of air travel that does not require long runways to take off or land, unlike airplanes. This form of air transport is especially useful in the north-eastern parts of India where densely forested mountains crisscrossed by rivers make it difficult to construct roads and railways. Pawan Hans Helicopter Company Limited provides helicopter services to government enterprises like ONGC and passenger services in mountainous area that are difficult to access.

Air travel is still very expensive in India and out of the reach of a large part of the population. Air transport is especially useful in the north-eastern parts of India where special arrangements have been made to make air travel services available to the common people.

Means of Communication

Goods are transported from supply to demand locations by people called traders. Transport is a key factor that influences India’s rapid economic development. Based on the medium it uses, the means of transport can be divided into land transport, water transport and air transport.

Land transport includes roadways and railways and pipelines used to transport liquid and gaseous material over long distances.

Water transport can be classified as inland transport and overseas transport. Inland transport happens along coastline between two domestic ports or through inland waterways. Overseas transport involves sending goods from one country to another. Air transport can be classified as domestic and international. Private and government-run domestic airways connect different cities of India. International airways connect India with destinations in all parts of the world.

Modern advances in science and technology have not left any part of the world inaccessible. Thus, the world appears a much smaller place today.

Trade requires some means of exchanging ideas and connecting with people. This is where communication comes in. While transport physically transfers people and goods from one place to another, means of communication allow people in different locations to connect with each other without actually travelling.

Some common means of communication are radio, television, cinema, newspapers, the Internet, fax and phone services. A dense, efficient network of transport, and extensive, reliable means of communication are the true lifelines of trade and economic development for India and the rest of the world.

International Trade and Tourism


The exchange of goods between people, companies, states or countries is called trade. The trade within a locality or between towns or villages of a state is called local trade. The trade between two states is called state-level trade. The trade between two countries is called international trade.

International trade is the measure of the health of a country’s economy and has two components. The goods purchased from other countries are called imports while the goods sold to other countries are called exports. The difference between the exports and imports of a country is called its balance of trade.

When the value of the exports of a country is more than the value of its imports, the country is said to have a favourable balance of trade. When the value of the imports of a country is more than the value of its exports, the country is said to have an unfavourable balance of trade.

The major products showing a rising trend in exports from India are agriculture and allied products, ores and minerals, gems and jewellery, chemicals and allied products, engineering goods and petroleum products.

The main categories of products imported into India are petroleum and petroleum products, pearls and gemstones, inorganic chemicals, coal, coke and briquettes and machinery. The bulk imports group accounts for around 39% of the total imports by India and includes fertilisers, cereals, edible oils and newsprint. India is a leading software producing country and generates large amounts of foreign exchange through the export of information technology.

Tourism is an important form of international trade. The Indian tourism industry employs around 15 million people to take care of around 2.6 million foreign tourists who visit India every year. Foreign tourists visit India for heritage tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, medical tourism and business tourism.

Tourism not only promotes national integration, it also gives tremendous boost to local handicraft industries and helps foreign tourists to understand and appreciate our cultural heritage.

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