The Indian Subcontinent: Position, Extent and Physical Features-Transport in India

The Indian Subcontinent: Position, Extent and Physical Features-Transport in India

The term ‘transport’ means the movement of humans, goods, and animals from a specific location to another. In the Indian context, the main route of transport is via road. However, apart from the road, air and water transports are also seen in the country.

The transport system of India would be discussed here and the various mediums will be highlighted as well. 85% of India’s passengers use road transport in India. In order to maintain the economic growth of India and to reduce the rate of poverty in this scenario, the transport sector is improving itself with the assistance of the government. With the help of this large and diverse transport sector, the transport need of this large population is fulfilled. The geography of the Indian subcontinent is vast and with the diversified transport system, maintaining the connectivity has been easy.

The transport system in India

In order to continue the growth of the economy, the sector has shown significant improvements. In this country, the major transport system is road and it is considered to be one of the most cost-effective modes of transportation. The road is the dominant mode of Indian transport today. Along with that, rail, airways, water and aviation are important contributors to the transport system in India. These various modes of transport system would be elaborated here. India has shown improvement in connectivity across the country in the geographic context in the rural and urban areas. The transport sector has a major contribution to increasing the country’s GDP. The demand has been rising for the transport infrastructure from the end of the country’s economy. 

Road transport

The road transports are easily available, saves the cost and the needs of the individuals are easily satisfied. For these factors, people tend to focus a lot on this road transport system. The density of the network in highways can be compared to the density of the U.S. However, with vast availability, the roads are narrow and sometimes maintained poorly as well due to less resources in the country. The country has aimed to improve the scenario of road safety. Heavy vehicles are limited on the national highways. For creating road safety, four individual’s ‘E’ have been created by the Indian ministry- education is the first step, the second is enforcement while the third is the engineering of roads and vehicles, and the last is emergency care. In that context, the motor vehicle Act, Road transport Corporation Act are considered as well. The rate of motorisation is increasing in the Indian scenario. 

Railway transport

Indian railway is single-managed and one of the largest railways and is one of the biggest employers in the world. India has a vast territory and the Indian railway is responsible for carrying the passengers efficiently. However, the Indian government has planned to enhance the capacity with the help of its environment-friendly structure. It has divided itself into eighteen zonal railway departments and each of them has a divisional headquarter. On the other hand, India has metro-railway service as well. 

Port transport

In the growing economy and for improving foreign trade, port transport plays a key significant role. A significant development in the social and economic scenario has been observed. Apart from the port, shipping of goods is also done within this sector. Uncertain returns have been significantly observed in this sector previously but with thorough improvement and allocating the proper resources, this risk has been reduced potentially. This sector operates with 13 major ports and around 200 non-major ports and intermediate ports. Among all of them, the Mumbai port which is located in Maharashtra is the largest and second oldest (followed by Kolkata port) port.

Aviation transport

As per the report of 2020, India has 153 operational airports. The Indian Government has been aiming towards creating around 200 airports by the end of 2040. The demand for air transport has been rising and it is evident from increased traffic in the aviation sector. Among all of the airports, Indira Gandhi’s international airport is the biggest. Approximately over 300000 air passengers travel domestically regularly in India. There is a significant increase in both terms of passenger and cargo in recent years which indicates rising demand in the Indian context. 14.2% growth in the domestic passenger and 7.8% growth in cargo have been noticed. It has been estimated that a 30 million USD investment in the next 15 years is required to maintain current demand of air traffic in that accordance. 

Challenges of the transport system in India

33% of village areas do not have connectivity to the transport system

Poor access to transport in rural areas is a major challenge

Capacity constraints are faced in the Indian railway

Only 58%-60% of capacity is utilised in some of the major ports

The infrastructure of the airports is seen strained sometimes which act as barriers

Lower advancement in the technology and slow speed of railway is one of the key challenges as well

Public funding has been inadequate

Maintenance of the roads is not well-maintained.


Here the transport of India has been discussed for the Indian geographical subcontinent. The transport sector has a major contribution to raising the GDP of the Indian economy. The various modes of transport have been discussed along with evaluating the challenges associated with it. The contribution of the transport system, in order to increase connectivity in a geographic context, has been evaluated as well.