In modern life we have to move from one place to another. We have to go to schools, offices and other places of work. We have to use some transport. We use cycles, scooters, cars, buses or trains.
Apart from going from one place to another, we have to carry things such as food, raw material and finished goods from one place to another. The means of transport are the means that carry goods or passengers from one place to another. Roadways, waterways, railways and airways are the means of transport.
The means which are used to send our messages from one place to another are called means of communication. There are various means of communication. We can send our messages through letters, telegrams, telephones, telex, newspapers, radio and television. These are called means of communication. The means of transport and communication are of great importance in the modern world.
Our roads :
Transport is an important part of modern life. We have to move about from one place to another. We have to transport goods and food articles from one place to another. Raw materials have to be carried to the factories and the finished goods have to be transported to the markets. Therefore, transport is very necessary in our daily life.
Now-a-days travelling has become easy and comfortable. We have jeeps, motor-cars, buses and scooters which run on the roads very fast. We cover long distances in a short time. In old days there were no means of fast transport. There The urn-roads were no pucca roads. The people used to travel on foot. Animals like horses, bulls, camels and elephants were used to carry goods from one place to another. Later on bullock carts and tongas were used to carry goods.
Now we have pucca roads. These roads are also called surfaced roads or metalled roads. These roads are made of concrete and tar. These roads are all weather roads. These roads are quite smooth and it is quite easy to travel on them.
Our Government has built up a good system of roads. Villages have been linked with metalled roads to the main roads which lead to the towns and markets. We have a network of about 17 lac kilometres of roads in India. Out of this about 7 lac kilometers are metalled roads and many other roads are being metalled.
Bridges are also a part of our roadways system. Bridges have to be constructed across the rivers and streams. In mountainous region it is more difficult to lay roads than in the plains. The mountain region has more rivulets and streams. Therefore, more bridges have to be constructed. The hilly terrain is not smooth. It is made of hard rocks. These rocks have to be levelled to make roads. The hills are steep and the roads are zig-zag. Sometimes tunnels have to be dug out to make roads. Tunnel is an underground passage dug through a hill. Our roads can be are zig-zag divided into four categories :
The roads connecting important towns and industrial and trade centres are called National Highways. An important National Highway is the road connecting Calcutta and Amritsar. This National Highway is about 2000 km. long. It was also called the Grand Trunk Road. This road was first laid by Sher Shah Suri in 1542 A.D. Shady and fruit trees were planted along both the sides of this road and mile-stones were constructed at a distance of 2 Kms. This National Highway which runs from Calcutta to Amristar via Varanasi, Kanpur and Delhi is named Sher Shah Suri Marg.
The other important national highways are from Delhi to Mumbai, Calcutta to Mumbai, Chennai to Mumbai, Delhi to Chennai via Bangalore and Mumbai to Vijaywada via Sholapur and Hyderabad. National Highways are broader roads and are maintained by the Central Government. We have a/so State Highways. These highways connect important stations within the State. The State Highways are also connected with the National Highways. The State highways are maintained by the State Governments.
Then there are the District Roads. These roads connect villages and towns with the National and the State Highways. These roads are very beneficial to the local people. The village people can take their farm produce to the mandis and towns very easily. These roads are responsible for the uplift of our villages. These roads are maintained by the Zila Parishad or the District Administration.
Border Roads :
There are some roads which have been built in the border areas of the country. These roads are looked after by the Border Roads Organization. This organisation has built roads in very difficult areas. It has built roads on high mountains in the Himalayas. This organization has built one of the highest road in the world. It leads from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Ladakh.
Although our country has built a large number of roads and most of the villages have been connected with pucca metalled roads, yet some villages are not linked by roads. Our Government has made plans to link every village with a metalled road. In Punjab, Haryana and Delhi almost all the villages have been provided metalled roads.
Roads are necessary for the development of a country. It is not easy to lay railway tracks to connect all the villages with towns and cities, but roads can be laid easily. Roads can be constructed in hilly areas where railways cannot reach easily. Roadways are the life line of a country. The roads are useful in peace as well as in war. In times of need roads are used for transporting arms, ammunition and army from one part of the country to another.