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Important Facts Related to Indian Economy: – (Transport)

  • Presently there are 9 undertakings under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways.
  • The first Indian  Rail was run on April 16, 1853 from Bombay   to Thane (34 km long route).
  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. was incorporated on September  27,  1999  as  a   government company with the objective of upgrading and managing rail catering and hospitality.
  • Indian Railways is divided into 17 Zones out of which Northern Railway (New Delhi) Zone has the highest km route.
  • During 1996-97, 6 New Railway Zones were established at Hazipur, Jabalpur, Allahabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar and Bengaluru.
  • Indian Railways has three types of gauge—Broad  Gauge  (1676 mm),  Meter  Gauge (1000 mm) and Narrow Gauge (762 mm and 610 mm).
  • Indian Railways is the second largest rail network in the world under  a  single  management. Better resource management through   increased wagon  load, faster   turnaround   time   and   a \more rational pricing policy led to a perceptible improvement in the performance of the Railways. Out   of   freight   and  passenger traffic,    the    freight     segment accounts for about 70 per cent of revenue. Within the freight seg-ment,   bulk   traffic accounts for nearly 84 per cent of revenue-earning freight traffic (in physical terms), of which about 44 per cent is coal.
  • Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal     Pradesh is now being accessible  by  train. Itanagar  has become    the   Itanagar,   the   capital  of Arunachal Pradesh is now being accessible by train. Itanagar has become the second capital in the eight north eastern states, after Guwahati, to appear on the rail-way map of the country. The passenger train will travel bet-ween Naharlagun and Dekargaon in Assam, a journey of 181 kilo-meters.

The construction of the 22-km long broad gauge line from  Harmuti in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh cost  406 crore. There are 46 minor bridges and 11 major bridges on the line.

Bangalore City Railway Station Becomes the First Station in India to have  Wi-Fi Facility
Bangalore City railway station has become the first station in the country to have Wi-Fi facility for providing high speed internet to passengers.

 Wi-Fi facility will available to the passengers on their mobile phones free of charges initially for a period of 30 minutes. For usage beyond 30 minutes, the user may purchase scratch cards, which will be made available at the Wi-Fi Help Desk.

  • Fully  air  conditioned  double decker trains are being introduced   between   Delhi    (Sarai-Rohilla)—Jaipur;   Ahmedabad-Mumbai;   Chennai   Central- Bengaluru; Bhopal (Habibganj)–Indore.
  • Rail Link Between Udhampur and Katra

Indian Railways has created a 26 kms long Katra-Udhampur rail line  with  an  estimated  cost  of  1,132.75 crores. It comprises 15.5 km long Katra-Chak Rakhwal and 9.4 km long Chak Rakhwal-Udhampur sections and connects two districts of Reasi and Udhampur in the State.

  • Railways   launched   Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

After having a success story of ‘Palace on Wheels’—the first tourist   super   luxury   train,  the Railway    Ministry,    in     close coordination with the Rajasthan  government, has decided to launch a second super luxury train in December 2008.

The new tourist train named as ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’ will be operated jointly by Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism  Development Corporation (RTDC).

As per official declaration, the new super delux luxury train will be more luxurious than Palace on Wheels and it will go to Bikaner instead of Sawai Madhopur.


Luxury Tourist Trains

  • Palace on Wheels (1982).
  • Deccan Odyssey (2001).
  • Golden Chariot (2008).
  • Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (2009).
  • Maharaja’s Express (2010).
  • Following the opening of railway lines from Anantnag to Mazhom (66 km) and Mazhom to Baramulla (35 km), the newly constructed 18 km-long rail line between Anantnag and Quazigund, the last stretch of railway line in the Kashmir Valley, was commissioned in October 2009, making the entire 119 km-long rail   line   from   Baramulla   to Quazigund operational.


Committees Constituted for   Rail Security

Shahnawaz Committee                  1954

Kunjaru Committee                       1962

Wanchoo Committee                     1968

Seekari Committee                        1978

Khanna Committee                        1998

  • Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. was set up in January 2003, as an effort to  create new institutional mechanisms  for  implementing railway projects through a blend of budgetary support and non-budgetary  initiatives.  It  is implementing a part  of  National  Rail  Vikas Yojana.
  • New Rail Coach manufacturing unit at Kolar in Karnataka. The unit will be established with an estimated cost of  1461 crore (Excluding the cost of Land). The annual production capacity will be 500 coaches per year. The ministry of railway will finance 50% cost of the while the State  government  will provide the required land free of cost  as  well  as  meet  the remainingg 50 % of the project completion cost with escalation. Over 1100 acres land will be provided by the State Govern-ment.
  • Indian railways is the world’s Second   largest   rail    network under a single management.
  • Year 2007 was declared as the ‘Year of Cleanliness’.
  • The    Railway    Ministry   has granted permission to the Travel Agents    Association    of   India (TAAI), the largest travel agent’s body to sell railways tickets     for long distance journeys. The ministry is also evaluating the possibility of permitting other travel agents associations to sell the tickets.
  • Aadarsh Station Scheme was introduced in 2009. Aadarsh Stations are provided with basic facilities such as drinking water, functioning toilets, catering ser-vices, waiting rooms and dormi-tories especially for lady passen-gers and better signage.
  • Railways  has  introduced  Bio-Toilets  in  passenger  coaches. Eight trains are running with 436 Bio-toilets.
  • Indian Railways has targeted eliminations of direct discharge passenger coach toilet systems by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan (2021-22).
  • Railway     Ticket     upgradation scheme has been launched by Indian Railways for optimum utilisation of passenger capacity from January 26, 2006.
  • The government has decided to have the fourth rail coach manu-facturing factory, the first to be built on a Public-Private Partner-ship (PPP) model, in a little over three years from now. To be located in Palakkad, Kerala, it would use Japanese technology for the first time in India to roll out lighter coaches, consuming less fuel.
  • Bio-toilets in all Trains in 6 years

By  2019,  all  the  passenger coaches of Indian Trains will be fitted  with  ecofriendly  bio-toilets.  The  Railway  Board hopes to complete installation of bio-toilets in all 40,000-plus coaches of the Indian Railways.

  • The longest train route in India is set to begin on November 26, 2011. Vivek Express will cover 4278 km (2658 miles), linking North-East India with South India, taking 82 hours, 40 minutes (3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes).
  • Gatiman, the fastest train in India runs between Hazrat Nizamuddin to Agra Cantt. at a speed of 160 kms/hour. It covers 188 kms in just 100 minutes. The train started on April 5, 2016.

Infrastructure Debt Fund Constituted

With the aim to raise funds for infrastructure sector in the country, four financial institutions—ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Citi Financial and LIC have formed the country’s first  $ 2 billion (about  10,000 crore) Infras­tructure Development Fund (IDF). The newly constituted fund with an equity of  300 crore has become operational since April 1, 2012. ICICI Bank, the sponsor of the joint venture, holds 31% equity in IDF followed by Bank of Baroda with 30%, Citi Financial 29% and LIC 10%. Besides,  300 crore equity capital, which will be treated as Tier I capital, the company will also raise  300 crore long-term debt.

The new company finances only PPP  (Public  Private  Partnership) model projects which have completed at least one year of operation. The fund seeks to raise debt capital from domestic and foreign resources in the form of long-term pension, insurance funds and sovereign wealth funds.

Four Infrastructure Funds have been registered with SEBI and two of them were launched in the month of February 2013.

  • Three special trains were announ-ced  in  Rail  Budget  2016-17. Fully airconditioned AC III ex-press train—“Hamsafar”; ‘Tejas’  with a speed of 130 km per hour and “Uday” overnight excellent double Decker. Besides Then   Antyoday expressfully unreser-ved express train on busy routes will also started.
  • India has one of the largest road networks in the world, aggregat-ing to 4·87 million kilometres. The country’s road network con-sists  of  Expressways,  National Highways,     State    Highways, Major District Roads, Other Dis-trict Roads and Village Roads.
  • The  road  network  comprises 103,933  km  of  National  High-ways, 161487 km of State High-ways and other 5207044 lakh km roads.
  • 19,330   km   (24%)   of National Highways are still of single lane/ Intermediate lane; 40,658 km (52%) are of double lane and 19,128 km (24%) are of four lane/six lane/eight lane.
  • About 22 per cent of the total length    of    National  Highways (NHs) is single lane/intermediate lane, about 53 per cent is two lane standard, and the balance 25 per cent is four lane standard or more.
  • The govt. has embarked upon a massive National Highway Deve-lopment  Project  (NHDP)  in the


country.  NHDP is the largest highway project ever taken in the country. The NHDP is being implemented mainly the NHAI in phases I to VII.

  • National   Highways   comprise only about 2 per cent of the total length of roads and carry about 40 per cent of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country.
  • Out of the total length of National Highways, 24 per cent is single lane/intermediate lane, 52 per cent is 2-lane standard and the balance of 24 per cent is 4-lane standard or more.
  • Road Transport has about 87 per cent share in passenger transport of the country.
  • Maharashtra  ranks  first   in  the length of roadways among various states of the country.
  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is a major airport operator managing 125 airports across the country and also entrusted with the sovereign function of providing  air  traffic  services  in India. To enhance airport infra-structure in India, modernization of existing airport infrastructure in  metro  and  non-metro  cities and construction of greenfield airports  were  contemplated. The   Twelfth   Five   Year   Plan  (2012–17) envisages an invest-ment of   65,000 crore at Indian airports, of which a contribution of about  50,000 crore is expec-ted from the private sector.
  • ‘Pawan Hans’ is  a  Helicopter Service which was constituted in 1985 with the name ‘Helicopter Corporation of India’.
  • Private sector provides air taxi service which was introduced in 1990.
  • The government of India decided on March 1, 2007 to merge the two national carriers,  i.e., Indian Airlines Limited and Air India Ltd. into a new 100% Govern-ment of India-owned company, named   as   National    Aviation Company of India Ltd. (NACIL).
  • With   effect   from   November 2010, the name of the company has been changed from National Aviation Company of India Ltd. to Air India Ltd.
  • India’s Tata group and Singa-pore Airlines jointly have cons-tituted a public limited company on November 5, 2013 with the name “Tata SIA Airlines Limi-ted” with the aim of promoting air services on domestic as well as on international routes.
  • Air traffic in India continues to register significantly higher rates of growth averaging 18·5 per cent in the last seven years.
  • There are 15 scheduled operator’s permit   holders   including   two regional    ones   and  two  in  the  cargo category, with 419 aircraft endorsed on their permit.
  • The number of non-scheduled operator’s    permit    holders   in differ­ent categories, namely pass-engers, cargo and charter, has  gone upto 118 with 332 aircraft endorsed on their permit.
  • The development of airports at Delhi and Mumbai has been taken up under PPP mode.
  • Development of Kolkata and Chennai international airports has been taken up by the Airports    Authority of India (AAI)  at  the  approved cost of  1942 crore and  1808 crore respectively. The work is in progress.
  • Bengaluru and Hyderabad inter-national airports have been deve-loped on PPP mode as greenfield airports. These two airports have been put in operation.
  • Pawan  Hans  Helicopters  Ltd. proposes to construct a  heliport in New Delhi to provide connec­tivity to tourists and the business community.

Satellite Cargo Ports Planned at Surat, Wardha, Aurangabad

With the aim to reduce depen-dence on roads and to reduce the costs, JNPT, country’s largest container port, will be setting up satellite ports at Wardha, Aurangabad and Surat under the strategy of motivating Cargo Move-ment.

Wardha and Aurangabad (both in Maharashtra) will have dry ports from where the cargo will be moved by railway, while at Surat there will be a water port.

  • A New Ennore Sea-Port near Chennai  has  been  established with  the  assistance  of  Asian Deve­lopment Bank.
  • Ennor Port, officially, renamed ‘Kamarajar Port’ Ltd. after free-dom fighter and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Kamaraj.

This is the second port to be renamed  by  the  Shipping Ministry headed by G.K. Vasan after freedom fighters in recent times, the first one being V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust in Tuticorin, in February 2011.

  • Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy. 95 per cent of the country’s trade volume (68 per cent in terms of value) is moved by sea.
  • Gopalpur  set  to  be  an  all-Weather Port

Gopalpur port off Ganjam coast in Odisha is now all set to start operation as an all-weather port. Gopalpur Port Ltd. (GPL) has already notified the opening of the port for commercial traffic after experts from Indian Insti-tute  of  Technology  (IIT), Chennai, nodal agency appointed by Odisha government to clarify its operational readiness, gave a go ahead signal.

  • Two new major ports will be established in Sagar, West Ben-gal and in Andhra Pradesh to add 100 million tonnes capacity.
  • A new outer harbour will be developed in V.O. Chidambaranar Port at Thoothukkudi (T.N.) through PPP as an estimated cost of  7,500 crore.
  • India has 13 major ports and 200 non-major ones. Of the non-major ports, about 66 are hand-ling traffic. Mundra Port is the largest private port of India, located in the Gulf of Kutch (Guj-arat). Besides this Krishnapa-tnam (Andhra Pradesh), Ganga-varm (Andhra Pradesh), Karikal (Tamil Nadu), Pipavav (Gujarat) are other private sector ports of India.
  • India has one of the largest merchant shipping fleet among the developing countries and ranks 16th amongst the countries with the largest cargo carrying fleet  with  10·11  million   Gross  Tonn age (GT) as on August 31, 2010 and average age of the fleet being 18·03 years.
  • Odisha government has signed a concenssion  agreement  with Navyuga Engg. Company to set up a port with a capacity of 25 mtpa, at an investment of  6500 crore in Puri district.
  • Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy. Approximately, 95 per cent  of   the  country’s  trade  by volume (70 per cent in terms of value) in moved by sea. India has the largest merchant shipp-ing fleet  among  the  developing  countries and ranks 17th amongst the countries with the largest cargo carrying fleet with 7·07 million GT and the average of the fleet being 17 years.

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