Introduction to Transport and Communication in India
Transport indicates the movement of commodities and people from one place to another. Communication indicates the transmission of news and messages from one place to another. Development of means of transport and communication is considered to be the artery of modern civilisation, and is a key to economic development of a nation. Transport and communication provides a vital link between the areas of production, the traders in between producers and consumers and the market. The transport and communication links are the lifelines of modern economy.
The distance and time taken for movement between places have indeed become much shorter with development of science and technology in this sector. Efficient means of transport and communication has reduced the time taken for movement between two places. The time to travel around the world has become significantly lesser.
Transport plays an important role in the economic development of India in the following ways:
- Industrial development: The raw materials from agricultural fields or mining centres are brought to the manufacturing or processing units. For industrial units which are based on important raw materials, there is a very good transport connection with the ports. For distribution of the finished products from the manufacturing centres, a dense network of transport is necessary. Important cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are focal points of several types of transportation.
- Agricultural development: Transport plays a major role in transferring agricultural products from the fields to the market. The distribution of modern inputs such as agricultural machineries and high yielding varieties of seeds and fertilizers to the farmers is possible through dense transport network. Moreover, cultivation of cash crops such as jute and cotton are dependant on the transport linkages with the market.
- Specialisation and concentration of certain industries in a region is dependant on a good transport network. The concentration of silk textiles in south India and sugar mills in western India are examples.
- The tourism industry is boosted by development of transport network in some areas. Increased accessibility by road or rail connections have opened up many new tourist destinations. The picturesque areas of North-east India have not seen much of tourism development due to transport network.
- Development of trade increases with the movement of goods and services from areas of surplus to areas of deficit. This brings prosperity to both the areas and helps in the overall economic development.