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Driving and Public Transport

India - Driving and Public Transport


India has extensive coverage through various modes of transportation. While the government plays a large regulatory and developmental role, there is a lot of private sector involvement. Some of the major modes of transportation are discussed below:

Railways - India's railroad system is the government's largest public enterprise. Its route length extends 63,140 km of which about 15,994 km is electrified. The railroad system is divided into nine zones: central, eastern, northern, northeastern, northeast frontier, southern, south central, southeastern, and western. The railroads of India are the fourth most heavily used system in the world. Travel is relatively inexpensive.

Highways - Indian cities are connected by highways which stretches to total of 2,525,989 km of which 1,448,655 km is paved and 1,077,334 km is unpaved (1999). National Highways connect major towns and cities across India.

Waterways - Total stretch of 14,500 km of which 5,200 km are on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels (2004). India has major ports and harbors in Chennai (Madras), Cochin, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Vishakhapatnam.

Airports - There are about 333 airports of which about234 are with paved runways and about 99 unpaved runways. There are about 20 Heliports (2004 est).

Taxis and auto rickshaws are available in large cities and fares are charged on a kilometer basis using an electronic meter.

Tourist cars: There are a large number of chauffeur-driven tourist cars (some air-conditioned) available in important tourist centers in India.

Documentation: A Carnet de Passage with full insurance and Green Cards are required by persons bringing their own vehicles into India. An International Driving License is recommended. A temporary license to drive is available from local authorities on presentation of a valid British or Northern Ireland Driving License.

Traffic drives on the left.


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