Sunday, August 5, 2012

Transportation Engineering

Importance  :

Transportation adds to the economic, industrial, social and cultural development of a country. Transportation is very important for the economic development of any region since every thing/commodity produced whether it is food, fruits or industrial products needs transport at all stages from production to distribution. In the production stage, transportation is required for carrying raw materials like seeds, manure, coal, steel etc. In the distribution stage, transportation is required from the production centers viz; farms and factories to the marketing centers and later to the retailers and the consumers for distribution.
The inadequate transportation facilities retard the process of social & economic development of the country. The adequacy of transportation system of a country indicated its economic and social development.

a) Economic activity and Transport:   The importance of transportation in economic activity is to be found in its effects on both human wants for goods and satisfaction through production and distribution. While discussing the general effects of transportation, it may be said that the increased productivity and its efficient transportation can lower the cost of products. Transportation cost is an influencing factor on consumer price of commodities.

b) Social Effects of Transportation: Progress follows the lines of transportation. People have always settled along the river shores, road sides and near railway stations. In the present concept of transportation network, this kind of ribbon development is greatly discouraged. Attempts are being made to decentralize the population centers away from the sides of the main transportation routes. Thus town planning patterns are rapidly changing. To avoid congestion around the populated areas suburban living and industrial enterprises are developing.  These suburbs and satellite towns, acting as counter-magnets should be linked up with rapid transit systems. The various social effects of transportation may be further elaborated as follows:

1) Concentration of population into urban areas : The improved transportation facilities brings prosperity to the urban population. The prosperity and employment opportunities of the urban area attract the population from the other areas resulting in enhanced economic activities.
(Note (Source - wiki):  Urban area:  For the Census of India 2011, the definition of urban area is as follows:
  1. All places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc.
  2. All other places which satisfied the following criteria:
  1. A minimum population of 5,000;
  2. At least 75% of the male main working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits; and
  3. A density of population of at least 400 persons per sq. km.      ))
2) Reducing sectionalism :  Improved transportation has  reduced the sectionalism within the country and also outside the country. Under-developed colonies and tribes are improving their living conditions since the distances have apparently been reduced with reduction in travel time. More frequent  travels in other parts of the country and outside the country tend to increase the knowledge of the people from the other sections of the society. The international understanding for better peace and order also improves with efficient network of transportation.

3) Aspect of safety, law and order : Transport facilities are essential for rushing aids to areas affected by an emergency. To maintain law and order at home, it is required to have an efficient system of transport network. To defend the borders with the foreign territories, transport facilities are needed connecting the farthest border area from the headquarters or capitals. At times, this alone may be a sufficient reason to develop a transport network which may not involve any economic and social benefit directly.

4) Rural Development. : Over 75% of the population of India living in the villages, the development in the urban centers alone do not indicate the overall development of the country. With the improved transportation facilities in the rural areas, there could be faster development of the rural centers. The fertilizers and other inputs for agriculture and small scale industries could reach the rural population easily and similarly the products can be sold at the nearest marketing centers for more remunerative price resulting in faster economic growth. With increased facilities for education. health care and other social needs in the villages, the urge for the migration to urban centers decreases, thus helping in balance development of the country.

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