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TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

INTRODUCTION

Transport network is established to facilitate movement of people and goods. The regions which have good connectivity have always flourished. An integrated and coordinated transport network forms the backbone of nation’s economy. It reduces social distances, political fragmentation and economic isolation. A sound regional planning and development will be ineffective without a sound transport network.

ROAD TRANSPORT

India has one of the largest road networks in the world, the total length being more than 33 lakh km at present. Half of this is made up of un-surfaced roads. Importance of road transport is —

  • Flexibility, reliability, speed and door to door service.
  • Cost of construction and duration of construction of roads is less than other modes of transport.
  • It can provide service to geographically inaccessible areas such as hilly regions. Air transport being costly, it is the only mode of transport in these areas.
  • It is preferred mode for shorter distance. It provides feeder service to the other modes such as air, rail and water.
  • It helps in transporting agricultural commodities and industrial goods.

Roads can be classified into following types:

  1. National Highways
  2. State Highways
  3. District Highways
  4. Village Roads
  5. Border Roads
  6. International Roads
  7. National Highways

National Highways (NH) are constructed as per Government of India 1956 and maintained by Central Public Works Department (CPWD). National Highways are meant for inter-state and strategic defense movements, connecting state capitals, big cities, ports, railway junctions and link up with border roads acting as lifeline of India. It handles 40% of total volume of road traffic of India with only 2% of total road length of the country. The largest national highway (NH-&) runs from Varanasi to Kanniyakumari for a distance of 2372 km.

First Ten Highways

National Highways Places connected
NH 1 Delhi and Amritsar (via Ambala and Jalandhar)
NH 1A Jalandhar and Uri (via Madhavpur, Jammu, Srinagar, Baramulla)
NH 1B Batot and Kistwar (via Doda)
NH 2 Delhi and Kolkata (via Mathura and Varanasi)
NH 3 Agra and Mumbai (via Gwalior and Nasik)
NH 4 Thane and Chennai 9 (via Pune, Hubli, Bangalore, Ranipet)
NH 4A Belgaum to Panaji
NH 5 Bahargoda and Chennai (via Cuttack, Vishakhapatnam, Vijaywada)
NH 5A Chandikhol to Paradip
NH 6 Dhulia to Kolkata
NH 7 Varanasi and Kanyakumari (via Nagpur, Bangalore and Madurai)
NH 7A Palayankottai to Trichur
NH 8 Delhi and Mumbai (via Jaipur, Ahmedabad and
Vadodara)
NH 8A Ahmedabad and Kandla
NH 8B Bamanbore to Porbandar
NH 8C Chiloda to Sarkhej
NH 9 Pune and Vijaywada
NH10 Delhi and Fazilka

 

THE SIX LARGEST NATIONAL HIGHWAYS

National highway no. Starting point-destination Total length in km
NH 7 Varanasi- Cape Comorin 2372
NH 6 Surat-Kolkata 1932
NH 5 Baharagora- Chennai 1533
NH 2 Delhi-Kolkata 1490
NH 8 Delhi-Mumbai 1428
NH 17 Panvel (Mumbai) – Edapally (Karnataka) 1269

 

OTHER IMPORTANT NATIONAL HIGHWAYS

National Highway no. Route State through which passing
NH 1 Indo-Pak border , Delhi, Haryana, Punjab
NH 22 Indo-China border Haryana, Punjab, HP
NH 28A Indo-Nepal border Bihar
NH 35 Indo-Bangladesh border West Bengal
NH 39 Indo-Bhutan border Assam, Nagaland, Manipur

Uttar Pradesh has the largest length of National Highways followed by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The Government of India has started National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) under National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to accelerate economic development of the country. The Government has adopted Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to implement this project. NHDP has 6 phases on all of which work is going on.

Phase-I — Golden Quadrilateral: It consists of six lane super highways connecting Delhi-Mumbai-Chennai-Kolkata.

Phase-II — North-South Corridor: linking Srinagar to Kanniyakumari including Kochi-Salem stretch and East-West Corridor connecting Silcher in Assam to Porbandar in Gujarat.

Phase-III — consists of upgradation of about 10,000 km of existing National Highways to 4-lane dual carriageways. These highways are: (a) Corridors having high density traffic; (b) connect state capitals with Phase I & II of NHDP; and (c) connect places of economic, commercial and tourist importance e.g. Ports.

Also for north-east India, Accelerated North-East Road Development Project is proposed. Also Development of Roads in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) — affected areas has been taken up.

Phase-IV — It will upgrade 21,000 km of single land roads to 2 lane roads and strengthening of 17,000 of existing 2 lane highways.

Phase-V — consists of 6-laneing of 4-lane highways.

Phase-VI — includes Expressways connecting commercial, industrial cities and metros. For example. Western Express Highway; Eastern Express Highways. Mumbai­-Pune Expressway, the first expressway in the country is not under NHAI; it was built by State Government.

Phase-VII — consists of building ringroads, flyovers and bypasses.

STATE HIGHWAYS | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

These connect state capital with district centres and are constructed by State Government. From Central Road Fund (CRF), the Central Government provides grants and financial assistance to States for constructing state highways. Maharashtra has the largest length of state highways followed by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

DISTRICT HIGHWAYS

These connect district headquarters with other places of district. The Zila Parishad constructs and maintains these roads. These roads account for almost a third of total road length of India. Maharashtra has the highest district road length followed by UP, MP, Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka and Assam.

VILLAGE ROADS

These roads connect villages with neighbouring towns and cities. They are responsibility of village panchayats. These are mostly unsurfaced roads. The government has launched Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in 2000 as a 100% centrally sponsored scheme to provide rural connectivity to unconnected habitations with population of 500 persons or more and 250 persons in case of hilly, tribal and desert areas. Development of rural roads has been part of National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) and Bharat Nirman, Ministry of Rural Development provides technical and operational support. The World Bank too give financial assistance for rural roads development.

BORDER ROADS | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Border roads and other border infrastructure like bridges, buildings, airfields in strategically important areas are constructed and maintained by Border Roads Organisation (BRO). it also clears the snow, landslides in these hilly regions. BRO is an organisation of international reputation for quality and technologically difficult road projects.

INTERNATIONAL ROADS

These roads connect India with neighbouring countries and are financed by international agencies such as World Bank e.g. Kaladan Multimodal Project including Tamu (Manipur)-Kalemyo-Kalewa road in Myanmar-Lahore-Delhi-Kolkata-Mandalay road, the proposed India-Myanmar-Thailand road, Golaghat-Ledo road, Barhi-­Kathmandu road. Asian Highway Project, endorsed by UN-ESCAP, when completed will connect India to all south-east Asian Capitals. It includes Asian Highway, Trans Asian Railway and land transport project.

CHALLENGES FOR ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR

  1. Un-surfaced roads — almost 40% roads in . India are unsurfaced. They become muddy and unfit during rainy season.
  2. Land acquisition for roads — The expanding and new roads pass through fertile agricultural and densely populated areas.
  3. Huge funds for capital investment are not readily available. India is seeking foreign investment into it (100% FDI allowed).
  4. Quality of roads and maintenance especially at sub-State level is very poor. Transparent award of road contracts and strict maintenance norms are required.
  5. Toll tax management — too many toll nakas and high toll taxes put burden on commuters, especially daily commuters.
  6. Road safety rules are not well implemented.

RAIL TRANSPORT | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Significance of Railways:

  1. Railways provide the cheapest and most convenient mode of passenger transport both for long distance and suburban traffic.
  2. Railway play major role in transporting raw material, finished goods, agricultural commodities, through freight traffic.
  3. Railways connect major ports to hinterland.
  4. It is important in border land integration.
  5. Railways play vital role in calamities by transporting aid, rescue teams and people.
  6. Railways have a great role in ending, geographic, economic isolation and bringing national integration.

SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF RAILWAYS NETWORK

Spatial distribution of the railway network in the country has been influenced by physiographic, economic and administrative factors. Railway network is well developed and dense in the level land of the great plains of India owing to their uniform topography, high population density, rich agriculture and great industrial activity. Flood plains of Assam and Bihar and the rugged topography of the Himalayan region have very few railway lines. The sparsely populated sandy deserts of Rajasthan and hilly tracts of Sahyadris are unfavorable for the development of railway.

RAILWAY ZONES

For administrative convenience and efficient transportation railways were grouped into railway zones with their respective headquarters. These are:-

S.No Railway Zones Headquarters
1 Northern Railway New Delhi
2 North-Western Railway Jaipur
3 North-Central Railway Allahabad
4 North-Eastern Railway Gorakhpur
5 North-East Frontier Railway Maligaon
6 Eastern Railway Kolkata
7 East Coastal Railway Bhubaneswar
8 East-Central Railway Hazipur
9 West-Central Railway Jabalpur
10 Central Railway Mumbai Central
11 Western Railway Mumbai (Church gate)
12 Southern Railway Chennai
13 South-Central Railway Secunderabad
14 South-Eastern Railway Kolkata
15 South-Western Railway Hubli
16 South-East Central Railway Bilaspur

 

The Indian Railway system consists of three gauges — broad (1.675 m), meter gauge (1.00m) and narrow gauge (0.62 and 0.610 m). Different gauges create hindrance in smooth flow of traffic. Serious efforts are being made to convert meter gauge track to broad gauge track. The uni gauge system of railways assures larger capacity, higher speed, cheaper transportation and reduction in transshipment. By 2003 70.72% of the rail route was broad gauge, 23.92% was meter gauge and 5.36% was narrow gauge.

Konkan Railway and Jammu-Kazigund Railway: Konkan Railway is a remarkable achievement of the Indian Railways. It speaks of technical know- how attained by the organization to lay railway tracks in inhospitable and difficult terrains. The rail connects Mumbai with Mangalore along the Western Ghats. Prior to opening of this rail route in January 1998, there was no railway line along the Western Ghats. It crosses 146 rivers that connects 760 km. Asia’s longest tunnel (6.44 km) is on this route. The states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka are partners in this undertaking. Similarly the Jammu to Kazigund railway line passes through some of the most difficult terrain in the world marked by sedimentary nature of huge mountains, winter snow fall etc. This network has enabled to connect with Kashmir valley with rest of the state during snowfall which earlier used to be closed in winters.

Duronto express – A set of specialized rail service by Indian Railways (like Rajasthan) was introduced in 2009-10. They are projected to be fastest trains.

METRO RAIL | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Metro rail network is being established in metropolitan cities of India. Metro rail has become modern, faster and cheaper mode of transport in urban agglomerations. It is gaining increasing salience in the Multimodal Integrated Transport Projects in cities. While metro rail was already functioning in the city of Kolkata, a modern network was pioneered in Delhi. Metro rail is also being established in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Pune.

DEDICATED FREIGHT CORRIDOR PROJECT (DFC)

Its objectives are as follows:

  1. Regain market share of freight transport. At present it is just 35% despite railways being cheaper and faster.
  2. Multimodal logistics parks along DFC.
  3. Bring ecological sustainability by electrification of rail network. It has at present two components:
  4. Western Corridor — from Dadri (UP) — Rewari; Phulera-Palampur-Ahmedabad­Baroda-JNPT Mumbai-Dighi (Maharashtra). The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is being developed along Western Corridor of railways. DMIC seeks complementarity between rail, road network and industrial areas.
  5. Eastern Corridor — Ludhiana-Khurja (UP) — Dankuni (WB) largely to serve coal and steel traffic.

CHALLENGES FOR INDIAN RAILWAYS

  1. Modernization project involving coaches, signaling, rolling stocks, speed of travel.
  2. Safety issues — manual accidents are more in number, so training of staff, putting in safety devices like Anti-Collision Devices.
  3. Expansion of network — Railways has added very little network after British left India. There is urgent need to connect ports with hinterland, rural areas, borderlands, north-east India as well as international network such as with South­east Asia. Suburban rail networks including metro rail works need to be speeded up.
  4. Electrification of network — many engines still run on diesel which are very polluting.
  5. Efficiency and productivity of employees needs to be improved. It is too overstaffed.
  6. Revenue — Passenger Traffic needs to be brought in profit.
  7. Freight Transport — Railways need to be competitive with roads and waterways. Supplementary logistics, warehouses, container transshipment projects need to be built.
  8. Development of domestic manufacturing capacity with modern technologies. We are using age old technologies.

The Government has appointed Expert Group under Sam Pitroda for recommendation on Railways modernization Project and Anil Kakodkar Committee on Railway safety issues.

AIR TRANSPORT | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Air transport is the fastest but costliest mode of transport. It is an important mode for a country of vast size with diverse physiographic relief and terrains. It plays a vital role in the event of natural and human-made calamities like floods, famines, earthquakes, epidemics and war. In 1953, air transport was nationalized. Indian Airlines, Alliance Air (subsidiary of Indian Airlines), private Scheduled airlines and air taxis provide domestic air service in India. Indian Airlines operations also extend to neighboring countries of South-. Air India and Indian Airlines have been merged and domestic entity of it is called Air India.

Pawanhans helicopters Limited provides helicopter services to Oil and Natural Gas Commission in its off-shore operations and to inaccessible areas and difficult terrains.

There are two types of Airports for civil aviation: International airports and Domestic airports. International airports are 21 in number and are at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Panaji, Guwahati and Kochi, Lucknow, varanasi, Mangalore, Tiruchirapalli and Coimbatore. International airports need immigration facilities and capacity to handle long and medium term flights. Several other airports have been designated as ‘Limited International’ for a restricted number of global flights from there. The govt plans to add 500 operational airports by 2020 and aims to attract private investment in aviation infrastructure to meet this end. There are 63 domestic airports in the country. Airports are managed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). AAI is the chief regulatory authority in this field. Civil aviation training College at Allahabad and Rajiv Gandhi National Flying Institute, Gondia, Maharashtra impart training in various operational areas. The AAI also manages the National Institute of Aviation Management and Research (NIAMAR), Delhi. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Academy, Fursatganj (UP) has been setup as an autonomous body under the ministry of civil aviation with the objective of training pilots. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the regulatory authority for civil air regulations.

Airport privatization and joint ventures in this sector is a new development in the field of civil aviation in India. Participation of the private sector in the development and maintenance of airports is expected to improve managerial efficiency and attract investment from private sector. A number of airports have been taken up in India. There are two types of investments being made in the realm of airports. One is Green investment which is also called fresh investment i.e. building up of airport from scratch and brown field investment which is renovating the old airports. A number of new Greenfield investments are in the plug line e.g.

  • Bangalore International Airport, Devnahalli
  • Hyderabad International Airport, Shamshabad.

Mumbai and Delhi international airports’ redevelopment are examples of brownfield projects.

Nagpur airport is working on developing itself into international air cargo hub and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) hub for airlines. Hyderabad and some other airports are also working on it.

CHALLENGES FOR AIR TRANSPORT

  1. Air travel is still not affordable for majority of Indians. Also large number of towns and cities are not yet served by air transport.
  2. High cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel as well as that of aircrafts increases overall cost of transport. No domestic aircraft manufacturing company in India.
  3. The sector has become too much competitive to be attractive for further expansion and investment.
  4. Constant delays of Schedules and Safety concerns need to be solved.

DEVELOPMENT OF INLAND WATERWAYS IN INDIA

India has 14,500 km navigable waterways comprising rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks. Out of which 3700 km is navigable by mechanized boats. Actually only 2000 km is in use. It represents 1% of total transport of India.

On the other hand water transport is cheapest mode, fuel efficient, environment friendly mode of transport and has vast employment generation potential. They are more suitable for carrying heavy and bulky materials like mineral ores, food grains, timber, etc.

NATIONAL WATERWAYS

In order to increase significance and efficiency of inland waterways government has identified 10 important waterways which being given status of national waterways. Some of the declared waterways are —

  1. Ganga river from Allahabad via Patna, Farakka to Haldia (NW-1).
  2. Brahmaputra river from Sadiya to Dhubri (NW-2).
  3. Kollan-Kottapuram stretch of West Coast canal along with Champakara and Udyogmandal Canal (NW-3).
  4. Canal Kakinada-Puducherry stretches of Godavari and Krishna.
  5. Talcher-Dhamra stretch of East Coast Canal and Mahanadi delta river system. Other important waterways are —
  6. Barak River
  7. Goan rivers — Mandovi, Zuari
  8. Kerala backwaters (Kayals)
  9. Lower reaches of Narmada and Tapi
  10. Creeks of west flowing rivers on west coast like Kali, Sharavati, Netravati.
  11. Canals — Buckingham Canal running parallel to east coast from Guntur to South Arcot, Kurnool-Cudappah Canal, Son Canal, Medinipur Canal, Damodar Canal, Orissa Canals. Some irrigation canals in UP and Punjab for local transport.

ORGANISATIONS | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) – responsible for development and maintenance of National Waterways.
  • Central Inland Water Transport Board — Policy formulation.
  • Central Inland Water Transport Corporation — development and management of goods traffic.

FACTORS AFFECTING INLAND WATERWAYS | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

GEOGRAPHICAL

  1. Rivers and Canals do not have regular flow of sufficient water due to seasonal regimes of rivers. More pronounced in peninsula with rainfed rivers which became dry in summer.
  2. Problems in smooth navigation due to water falls and sharp cataracts.

ECONOMIC FACTORS

  1. Diversion of water for irrigation e.g. Ganga whose water flow significantly decreases from Bijnore downwards.
  2. Sufficient demand for waterways to make it economically viable.

SEA PORTS

95% by volume and 70% by value of India’s international trade occurs through maritime transport. Hence ports assume pivotal role in trade. India has coastline of 7516 km with 12 major ports and 187 non-major ports.

SEA PORTS/PORT CITIES | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Ports were centres of trade during British period. The ports saw concentration of industrial, financial activities and talent. They acted as magnet for attracting further industries. Importance of ports continued in post independence period. Ports acted as growth pole, growth centre in the development of a region. They cater to large hinterland as they are connected by rail, road network.

GROWTH OF SEA PORTS TRACED FROM BRITISH PERIOD | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

  • Export of cotton, jute, agri products: textile industry, financial centes developed, other supplementary industry developed.
  • Post independence, importance of sea ports continued with resulting contribution to economic growth.
  • Export — raw material, commodities.
  • Import — Petroleum, machinery.
  • Easy availability fuelled growth of industry — core automobiles, steel, refineries, chemical manufacturing — considerable backward and forward linkages.
  • Financial centres, — They were formed to support import export trade. Thus capital was easily available for industry.
  • Ports helped in growth of hinterland by
  1. Drawing of mineral resources, agricultural commodities, mining, agro industries.
  2. Transport link (rail, road) to resource rich area also connected intervening area which led to economic growth of those areas.
  3. Employment generation.

MAJOR SEA PORTS | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

The 7500 km long coastline of India is served by 12 major and 181 medium and minor seaports. Major ports are Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), Mormugao, New Mangalore and Kochi on the west coast and Kolkata or Haldia, Paradip, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin are major ports on the east coast of India.

  1. Mumbai: It is the biggest port of India in terms of cargo handling and really makes Mumbai the gateway of India. It is a natural harbor, handles approximately 1/5th of India’s foreign trade. A new port Nhava Sheva has been developed off Mumbai port which will be a highly mechanized modern port. It will release pressure on the Mumbai port.
  2. Kandla: It is a tidal port, developed after partition of India to release pressure on Mumbai port. It handles crude oil, petroleum products, edible oil, food grains, salt, cotton etc.
  3. Kochi: A natural harbor which handles tea, coffee and spices. Recently International container trans-shipment terminal at Vallapardam, Kochi has been built.
  4. Chennai: Oldest artificial harbor on the east coast which handles petroleum products, fertilizers and iron ore. It is the second largest port in terms of volume of traffic handled.
  5. Ennore: it was built to reduce pressure on Chennai port. It is country’s first corporate port.
  6. Vishakhapatnam: Deepest artificial harbor on the east coast which handles petroleum products and iron ore.
  7. Paradip: Located on Orissa coast, it handles iron ore and coal.
  8. Kolkata: Riverine port, which handles goods coming from S.E. Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
  9. Haldia: New port which has been developed on the river Hooghly to relieve Kolkata port. It is also a site for oil refinery.
  10. Tuticorin: It is located on the east coast of India and handles coal, salt, edible oil, fertilizers, iron ore and dry cargo.
  11. Nhava Sheva- It is equipped with modern facilities having mechanized container berths for handling dry cargo and service berths.
  12. Mormugao: It occupies fifth position in terms of total traffic handled.
  13. New Mangalore: It handles iron ore of Kudremukh and imports of petroleum products, fertilizers, edible oils etc.

CHALLENGES FOR PORT SECTOR | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

The importance of ports in the trade of India is growing as India’s trade volume with the world is growing. But there are some challenges.

  1. Low Mechanical Productivity — Indian ports have limited capacity to handle imports and exports as the present infrastructure and mechanization is limited. Indian ports have much longer pre-birthing delays and ship turnaround time (4-7 days) than some international ports like Singapore, Amsterdam ( ship turnaround time only 12 hours to 2 days), etc.
  2. Ports need to be connected with hinterland with an expanded rail and road network.
  3. Newer Port Cities need to be developed as modern, integrated townships. Dighi port is an effort in same direction.
  4. Role and volume of trade of non-major ports is needed to be expanded.
  5. One natural obstruction to Indian Ports is that violence of monsoon keep the western ports except, Mumbai, Kandla and Cochin closed to traffic during rainy season.
  6. Ship building and maintenance centres need to be developed.

OIL AND GAS PIPELINE NETWORK | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Pipelines are the most convenient mode of transport for petroleum, gas and petroleum products in large quantities from one place to the other over long distances. Pipelines can be laid through difficult terrains as well as under water. Its operations and maintenance costs are lower and involve very low energy consumption. Due to the development of pipelines thermal power plants can be constructed very near to the markets in a very short span of time. There are about 6335 kms of pipelines in India. Important pipeline networks of India are‑

  • Oil fields in upper Assam to Kanpur (UP) via Guwahati, Barauni and Allahabad. It has branches to Haldia, Rajbandh to Maurigram and Guwahati to Siliguri.
  • Salaya in Gujarat to Jalandhar in Punjab via Viramgam, Mathura, Delhi, Panipat. It has branches to connect Koyali (near Vadodara), Chakshu.
  • Hazira in Gujarat to Jagdishpur in UP .Liquid gas pipelines for the fertilizers
    plants located at Sawai Madhopur, Auriya, Aonla and Shahjahanpur (UP).
  • Kudremukh — Mangalore — iron ore slurry pipeline
  • Maton mines — Debari smelter Plant in Rajasthan — Phosphate concentrate.

There are proposals for construction of pipelines between Kandla and Panipat. Kandla and Bina, Mumbai to Manmad, Vishakhapatnam to Vijaywada and Mangalore to Chennai via Bangalore.

COMMUNICATION | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Communication is important or rather more important than means of transport in the modern world. India has a well developed communication network comprising of postal, telephone and telegraph systems.

Postal System: The postal system was established by Lord Clive in the year. 1766 and was further developed by Warren Hastings by establishing Calcutta G.P.O under Postmaster General in 1774. The act of 1837 first regulated the post office organization throughout the three presidencies by integrating them into an All India Service. The Post Office Act of 1854 reformed the entire fabric of the postal system, and the post office of India was placed on the present administrative footing on 1st October 1854. The statute presently governing the postal service in the country is the Indian Post office act; 1898. The first postal was issued in Karachi in 1852 and was valid only in Karachi. The Indian post office was officially recognized in 1854. Today Indian postal network has vast network of more than 155600 post offices. In India a post office serves an area of 21.20 km and population of about 7174 persons. India has been a member of Universal Postal Union (UPU) since 1876 and of Asian Pacific Union since 1964.

Indian post has started new mail paradigm in which the profile of Indian Post has changed substantially with increase in volume of mail in B2C (Business to Customer) and B2B (Business to Business) segments. Mail business centers with state of art technology and modern mailing tools (e-mails) are being designed as an integrated mail business hub for collection, processing and delivery of bulk mail. Further the Govt of India enacted NREGA in September, 2005 in which wages are being processed from Indian Post. Moreover now the drive for computerization of Indian posts is going on and NIC (National Informatics Center) is also implementing a WAN (Wide Area Network) connecting all head post offices, administrative offices, major speed post centers and account offices.

The Department of Post has also launched “Project Arrow” to revitalize its core operations and to provide new technology enabled services to the common man. The objective is to give a new outlook to post offices by modernizing exterior and interior designs of the post office, upgrading Infrastructure and enhancing core operations. Under this project a new logo for Indian post was also launched on 23rd September 2008. This logo presents Indian Post as a forward looking and modern organization, carrying emotion and expressions across the physical distance.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS | TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Indian telecom network is the second largest in the world after China. A liberal policy regime and involvement of private sector has fuelled the growth of this sector with substantial reduction in tariffs.

While total number of telephone connection is increasing speedily, the growth of wireless telephones is phenomenal comprising 96% of the total while number of wireline/landline connections is decreasing Teledensity is an important indicator of telecom penetration in the country. It was 76% in December. Teledensity varies across circles and there is significant rural-urban divide. While urban teledensity reached 167% in 2011, rural teledensity was only 38%. At circle level also Delhi (235%), Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh have high teledensity while Assam, Bihar (47%) etc. have very low teledensity.

The Government is taking many steps to make telecommunication accessible and affordable to everyone. Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) was formed with the objective of providing people in rural and remote areas access to basic telephony services at affordable prices. National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is being laid connecting all gram panchayats in the county with further integration into National Knowledge Network, e-education, Aakash tablets, etc., telemedicine, e-governance etc, Sanchar-Shakti project was launched in 2011 to facilitate access of Self Help Groups (SHGs) to ICT-enabled services.

The 3rd Generation (3G) and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auctions took place in 2012, further modernizing Indian Telecom Sector. Now 4G services too are being laid out. The upcoming decade will usher in an information era through mobile value added services (MVAS) and broadband for all. The Government of India has recently released National Telecom Policy in 2012.

TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATION NETWORK

 

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