Published on: 10/27/2020 3:06:48 AM

Roadways, railways, waterways, Airways and communication are the major means of transport. India has one of the largest road networks in the world, largest railway system in Asia and second largest in the world.


It has been important in India since ancient times. Its construction and maintenance is cheaper in comparison to the rail transport. It links villages and towns. The length of roads has increased eight times since independence. India has the third largest road network in the world. The road network of the country has been divided into four parts:

1. National Highways/Express Highways (70, 548 km)

  • It is constructed and maintained by the Central Government.
  • The development and maintenance of the National Highways system is carried out through three agencies- 1. NHAI (National Highways Authority of India); 2. State Public Works Department (PWDs) and 3. Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
  • According to NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) , the National Highway constitute only 1.7% of the road network, but carry about 40% of the total traffic of India.

Important National Highways of India

National Highways


NH -1

Delhi to Amritsar (via Ambala and Jalandhar)

NH-1 A

Jalandhar to Uri (via Madhavpur, Jammu, Srinagar and Baramula)


Delhi to Kolkata (via Mathura and Varanasi)


Agra to Mumbai  (via Gwalior, Indore and Nasik)


Thane (Mumbai) to Chennai (via Pune, Belgaun, Hubli, Bangaloru and Ranipet )

NH- 5

Behragoda (Near Kolkata) to Chennai (via Cuttack, Visakhapatanam and Vijaywada)


Hazira to Kolkata (via Nagpur, Raipur and Sambalpur, Dhule)


Varanasi to Kanyakumari (via Nagpur, Bangalloru and Madhurai)


Delhi to Mumbai (Jaipur, Ahmadabad and Vadodara)


Pune to Machilipatnam (via Sholapur and Hyderabad, Vijaywada)


Delhi to Fazika proceeding to Indo-Pak border


Beawar to Radhanpur (Sirohi)


Pathankot to Kandla (Near Thar Desert)


Delhi to Lucknow


Numaligarh to Indo-Myanmar Border


  • Longest National Highway: NH 44 covers the North-South Corridor of NHDP and it is officially listed as running over 3,745 km (2,327 miles) from Srinagar to Kanyakumari.
  • Shortest national Highway: National Highway 47A has length of 6 km tthat links the Junction with NH 47 at Kundanoor to the Town of Willington Island in Cochin.
  • Best Expressway in India: The Ahmedabad Vadodara Expressway is known as one of the best Expressway in India and also referred as the National Expressway 1.
  • Longest Elevated Freeway: Chennai Port Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway will be the longest Elevated Expressway in India.
  • Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) stretch which connects the four metro cities of India (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai).
  • National Highways are specifying by Yellow and White colour milestones. State Highways are specifying by Green and White colour milestones. City roads are specify by black and white colour milestones.

How Indian Highways are numbered?

  • All North-South highways will carry EVEN number
  • All East-West highways will have ODD numbers
  • All major Highways will be single digit or double digit in number
  • North-South highways will increase their numbers from East to West. For example, a particular North-South highway in Central India or Western India will have a higher number than the one in East India.
  • Three digit numbered highways are secondary routes or branches of a main highway. For example, 144, 244, 344 etc. will be the branches of the main National highway 44.
  • Suffixes A, B, C, D etc. are added to the three digit sub highways to indicate very small spin-offs or stretches of sub-highways. For example, 966A, 527B etc.


2. STATE HIGHWAYS (1,28, 000 KM)

  • It is constructed and maintained by state governments which join the state capitals with district headquarters and other important towns.


These roads are the connecting link between District Headquarters and the other important nodes in the district.

4. RURAL ROADS (26, 50, 000 KM)

These roads are vital for providing links in the rural areas.


The Border Road Organisation (BRO) was established in May 1960 for accelerating economic development and strengthening defence preparedness through rapid and coordinated improvement of strategically important roads along the northern and north-eastern boundary of the country. It is a premier multifaceted construction agency. It has constructed roads in high altitude mountainous terrain joining Chandigarh with Manali (Himachal Pradesh) and Leh (Ladakh).


The Indian railway is the third largest rail network in the world after US and China. It is a multi-gauge, multi-traction system covering Broad Gauge (1676 mm), Meter Gauge (1000 mm), Narrow Gauge (762/610 mm) with around 64600 km route.

  • The first rail railway line in India was operated for public traffic in 1853, between Bombay (Now Mumbai) to Thane over distance of 34 km and it was nationalised in 1950.
  • The railways recognised by UNESCO are Darjeeling, Himalayan Railways, Nilgiri Mountain Railways, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and Kalka-Shimla Railways.
  • The Vivek Express — from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari — travels 4,273 km, making it the longest-run in terms of total time & distance.
  • The Konkan Railways passes through 3 states of India – Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka. It runs along the Indian west coast parallel to Arabian Sea and Western Ghats. It is an extremely beautiful and scenic route running from Maharashtra till Karnataka.
  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is a corporation run by the Ministry of Railways (India) to undertake planning & development, mobilisation of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors. It is both enabler and beneficiary of other key Government of India schemes, such as Industrial corridor, Make in India, Start-up India, Stand-up India, Sagarmala, Bharatmala, UDAN-RCS, Digital India, BharatNet and UMANG.

Zones and Division of Indian Rail

Indian Railway is controlled by the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board and for better services and control, the rail transportation is divided into 18 zones or division with headquarter which is given below in table form:

Name of the Railway Zone

Zonal Headquarter


Central Railway


  • Mumbai 
  • Nagpur 
  • Bhusawal 
  • Pune 
  • Sholapur 

Eastern Railway


  • Howrah-I 
  • Howrah-II 
  • Sealdah 
  • Malda 
  • Asansol 
  • Chitaranjan

East Central Railway


  • Danapur 
  • Mugalsarai 
  • Dhanbad 
  • Sonpur 
  • Samastipur

East Coast Railway


  • Khurda Road 
  • Waltair 
  • Sambhalpur

Northern Railway

Baroda House, New Delhi

  • Delhi-I 
  • Delhi-II 
  • Ambala 
  • Moradabad 
  • Lucknow 
  • Firozpur

North Central  Railway


  • Allahabad 
  • Jhansi 
  • Agra

North Eastern  Railway


  • Izzatnagar 
  • Lucknow 
  • Varanasi

North Frontier  Railway

Maligaon, Guwahati

  • Katihar 
  • Alipurduar 
  • Rangiya 
  • Lumding 
  • Tinsukhia

North Western Railway


  • Jaipur 
  • Jodhpur 
  • Bikaner 
  • Ajmer

Southern  Railway


  • Chennai
  • Madurai 
  • Palghat 
  • Trichy 
  • Trivendrum

South Central Railway


  • Secunderabad 
  • Hyderabad 
  • Guntakal 
  • Vijaywada 
  • Nanded

South Eastern Railway

Garden Reach, Kolkata

  • Kharagpur 
  • Adra 
  • Chakradharpur 
  • Ranchi 
  • Shalimar

South East Central  Railway


  • Bilaspur 
  • Nagpur 
  • Raipur

South Western Railway


  • Bangalore 
  • Mysore 
  • Hubli 
  • FA/F/YNK

Western Railway

Mumbai CST

  • BCT 
  • Vadodara 
  • Ahmadabad 
  • Ratlam 
  • Rajkot 
  • Bhavnagar

West Central Railway


  • Jabalpur 
  • Bhopal 
  • Kota

Kolkata metro zone


  • Kolkata

South Coast Railway zone

Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal



The Central Water Tribunal was established in 1887 AD. It’s headquarter is located in Kolkata. The waterways of the country have been divided into internal waterways and Oceanic waterways.

Internal Waterways

  • This transport is through rivers, canals and lakes.
  • India has got about 14,544 km of navigable waterways which comprise rivers, canal, backwaters, creeks etc.
  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
  • There are six National Water Ways: NW1- Allahabad along Ganga River, NW2- Sadiya-Dhubri along Brahmaputra River, NW3- Kottapuram-Kollam, NW4- Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundri and Wazirabad to Vijaywada along Godavri and Krishna River, NW5- Mangalgarhi to Paradeep and Talcher to Dharmara along Mahanadi and Brahmnai River, NW6- Lakhipur to Bhanga along the Brak River.

Oceanic Waterways

India has a vast coastline of approximate 7,517 km, including islands. There are 12 (Twelve) major and 185 minor ports provide infrastructural support to these routes. Oceanic routes play an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy. Approximately 95% of India’s foreign trade by volume and 70 per cent by value moves through ocean routes.

Major Ports on West Coast


Kandla Port (Gujarat)

  • It is a tidal port
  • It comes under the Trade Free Zone
  • It is the largest port serving northern.
  • It is the first Export Processing Zone in India.

Mumbai (Maharashtra)

  • It is natural harbour and largest natural port in India.
  • It is busiest port of India which handles one-fifth of the foreign trade of India predominantly in mineral oil and dry cargo.

Navasheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port)

  • It was established to reduce traffic on Mumbai port.
  • It is the most mechanised and largest artificial port of India.


  • It is established on the estuary of the river Juari.
  • It handles iron ore export.

New Mangalore (Karnataka)

  • It handles the iron ore exports from Kudremukh mines.

Kochi (Kerala)

  • It is known as ‘Best port in the East’.
  • It is natural harbour located in the Vembanad Lake.


Major Ports on East Coast


Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu)

  • It handles petro-chemical products, fertilizers & salts.

Chennai (Tamil Nadu)

  • It is the artificial and second busiest port of India after Mumbai.

Ennore (Tamil Nadu)

  • It was established near Chennai to reduce traffic on Chennai port.
  • It is the first corporatized port of India.

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)

  • It is the deepest port of India.
  • It handles the export of iron ore to Japan.
  • It is natural harbour and protected the Monsoon spells by hill, named ‘Dolphin Nose’.
  • It is also famous for building and repairing of ships.

Paradip (Odisha)

  • It is a natural harbour and handles export of iron and aluminium to south-east Asian countries.

Haldia & Kolkata (West Bengal)

  • These are riverine ports established on Hugli River.
  • These handles trade with South-East Asian countries.
  • It is connect with Ocean based dockyard of Kolkata i.e. Diamond Harbour

Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Island)

  • It is 13th major port of India.
  • It has 23 ports territorial jurisdiction including east Island Port, Diglipur Port (Cornwallis), Mayabunder Port, Elphinston Harbour, Rangat Port, Havelock Port and Neil Island port.



  • Airways in India started in 1911 AD.
  • Indian National Airways Company was started in 1933 AD.
  • All the airway companies were nationalised in 1953 AD and were put under two corporations namely- Indian Airlines and Air India.
  • Indian Airlines provides its services to the internal parts India along with neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives.
  • Air India provides its services to the foreign locations.
  • Vayudoot was established in 1981 AD for domestic services, but was later merged in Indian Airlines.
  • Airports in India are managed by Airports Authority of India (AAI). Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. It also provides Air Traffic Management Services (ATMS) over entire Indian Air Space and adjoining oceanic areas with ground installations at all Airports and other locations to ensure safety of Aircraft operations.


Name of the Airport

City/ State

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport

Hyderabad, Telangana

Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport

Amritsar, Punjab

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport

Guwahati, Assam

Biju Patnaik International Airport

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Gaya Airport

Gaya, Bihar

Indira Gandhi International Airport

New Delhi, Delhi

Veer Savarkar International Airport

Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Kempegowda International Airport

Bengaluru, Karnataka

Mangalore Airport

Mangalore, Karnataka

Cochin International Airport

Kochi, Kerala

Calicut International Airport

Kozhikode, Kerala

Trivandrum International Airport

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Raja Bhoj Airport

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport

Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport

Nagpur, Maharashtra

Pune Airport

Pune, Maharashtra

Zaruki International Airport

Shillong, Meghalaya

Jaipur International Airport

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Chennai International Airport

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Civil Aerodrome

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Tiruchirapalli International Airport

Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu

Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport

Kolkata, West Bengal


Communication system in modern line was started with Indian National Satellite System. It is one of the largest communication systems in Asia-Pacific Region. It is joint venture of Department of Space, Department of Telecommunication, AIR, IMD and Doordarshan.

  • India's telecommunication network is the second largest in the world by number of telephone users (both fixed and mobile phone).
  • Postal Services, Telegraph services are other important communication system but a telegraph is permanently closed in 2013.


  • First Post Office of India: Bombay
  • Founder of Postal in India: Governor General Lord Dalhousie
  • First postage stamp of India: Sinde Dawk in 1852
  • First Stamp of Independent India: Issued on 21 November 1947. It depicts the Indian Flag with the patriots' slogan, Jai Hind (Long Live India).
  • First airmail: From Allahabad to Naini in 1911
  • First Post office outside India: Dakshin Gangotri, Antarctica in 1983
  • Postal staff collages: Ghaziabad
  • Indian Postal Day: 10th October


  • Radio broadcasting started in India in 1923 AD by the Radio Club of Bombay. Since then, it gained immense popularity and changed the socio- cultural life of people. Government took this opportunity and brought this popular mode of communication under its control in 1930 AD under the Indian Broadcasting System. It was changed to All India Radio in 1936 AD and to Akashwani in 1957 AD.
  • Television broadcasting has emerged as the most effective audio-visual medium for disseminating information and educating masses. Initially, the T.V. services were limited only to the National Capital where it began in 1959. After 1972 AD, several other centres became operational. In 1976 AD, TV was delinked from All India Radio (AIR) and got a separate identity as Doordarshan (DD). After INSAT-IA (National Television-DD1) became operational, Common National Programmes (CNP) was started for the entire network and its services were extended to the backward and remote rural areas.
  • Satellites are mode of communication in themselves as well as they regulate the use of other means of communication. However, use of satellite in getting a continuous and synoptic view of larger area has made satellite communication very vital for the country due to the economic and strategic reasons.
  • Courier services and internet are now predominant communication system in India after telecommunication.