•    Means of transport is broadly divided into land transport, water transport, and air transport. Land transport is further sub-divided into roads, railways and pipelines. Vehicles running on the roads are one of the most important means of transport among all. Transportation in India was through pathways and unmetalled roads in the ancient times. Metalled roads, railways and airways were developed with economic and technological development over a period of time.
•    India has one of the largest road networks in the world. The total length of roads in India is about 33,14,754 km. Around 85% of the passengers and 70% of the freight are transported through roads every year.
•    First serious attempt to build roads in India was made in 1943 with the ‘Nagpur Plan’. This plan was drawn in December, 1943. It was set up to meet sub-continental requirements through planned and coordinated system of roads. According to the plan, no village should be more than 5 km from road.
•    Road density refers to length of roads per 100 sq. km of area. The distribution of roads is uneven in India. The national average of road density in India is 75 km.
•    The road from the Indus Valley to Sonar Valley in Bengal was built by Sher Shah Suri. The name of the road was Shahi (Royal) Road and was renamed as Grand Trunk Road (GT Road), which connected Kolkata and Peshawar during the British period.
•    In India, roadways are classified on the basis of their administration and capacity to handle load.
•    The Golden Quadrilateral project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. It connects Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. It is the largest highway project in India and the fifth longest in the world.
•    The north-south corridor connects Jammu and Kanyakumari, and the east-west corridor connects Porbandar and Silchar.
•    National Highways are primary road systems that link extreme parts of the country. These highways are laid and maintained by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). A large number of these highways run from north to south and east to west directions.
•    State Highways link the state capital to district headquarters. These highways are laid and maintained by the State Public Works Department.


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  • Q1

    “Transport systems are the basic economic arteries of the country.” Why? Give any two points.


    i) They provide the basic links between production and consumption.

    ii) They bring unity among various cultures, economic and social structures.

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  • Q2

    Which is the longest national highway in India?


    National highway 7 is the longest highway. Its total length is 2,369 km. It runs between Varanasi and Kanyakumari.

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  • Q3

    Write down the classification of Indian roads.


    a) National highways
    b) State highways
    c) District roads
    d) Village roads
    e) Border roads

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  • Q4

    Name the basic means of transport.


    Land, water and air are the basic means of transport.

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  • Q5

    Define transport.


    It is a system in which the passengers and goods move from one place to another.

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