1. 0 introduction

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1.1 Environment

Word "environment" is most commonly used describing "natural" environment and means the sum of all living and non-living things that surround an organism, or group of organisms. Environment includes all elements, factors, and conditions that have some impact on growth and development of certain organism. Abiotic factors such as light, temperature, water, atmospheric gases combine with biotic factors (all surrounding living species). Environment often changes after some time and therefore many organisms have ability to adapt to these changes.

‘Environment’ can be also defined as the combination of all of physical and organic factors that act on a living being, residents, or ecological society and power its endurance and growth".

It could be a physical component, which is known as physical environment or abiotic environment that includes the built environment. The natural surroundings like air, water, land, atmosphere etc are also the part of physical environment but they are commonly known as natural environment. People surrounding the item or thing, is known as human environment. This is also known as the social environment and includes elements like the religious environment, emotional environment, residence, relations etc. (Asheesh, 2010).

1.2 Environmental Pollution

The word pollution has been derived from the Latin word “polluti onem” (meaning to defile or make dirty). Pollutant is a substance, the presence of which causes pollution. The pollutant contaminates the breathing air, drinking water, hearing sound and eating food. Uddal (1970) rightly said “the more we exploit, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one to fight for survival. We are destroying the environment and the biosphere, where we live “ Odum (1971) described pollution as an undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of our air, land and water that will harmfully affect human life or that of desirable species, living conditions etc. “ There are seven main types of pollutions in the environment (i) Air Pollution (ii) Water Pollution (iii) Land Pollution (iv) Industrial Pollution (v) Sewage Pollution (vi) Noise Pollution (vii) Radiation Pollution (Vijayalakshmi et al., 2003).

1.3 Transportation

Transportation is a non separable part of any society. It exhibits a very close relation to the style of life, the range and location of activities and the goods and services which will be available for consumption. Advances in transportation has made possible changes in the way of living and the way in which societies organized and therefore have a great influence in the development of civilizations.

Transportation is responsible for the development of civilisations from very old times by meeting travel requirement of people and of goods. Such movement has changed the way people live and travel. In developed and developing nations, a large fraction of people travel daily for work, shopping and social reasons. But transport also consumes a lot of resources like time, fuel, materials, land. (NPTEL, May 7, 2007).

1.3.1 History of transportation

The History of Transportation spans the entire history of mankind. In early Paleolithic and Neolithic ages, man walked through his world on his own two legs. He couldn't transport more than he was able to carry on his own. Beasts of Burden began to be used after animal domestication sometime in the later part of Neolithic age. However, even then humans could only carry what could be loaded onto or tied to their animal's backs. It was only around 4000-3500 BC that the very first step towards man-made transportation was taken – the wheel was invented. (www.lifestyle.iloveindia.com).

Transportation began with the invention of the wheel in about 3500 BC.  Wheels were placed first on carts and then chariots.  Next came travel by riverboats believed to have first been used by the Egyptians.  Horses were added as a means of transportation.  It is believed Asians were the first to place some kind of protector on the horse's hooves. The wheelbarrow was instrumental in transporting heavy goods from one site to another.  The submarine used to travel underwater was invented in 1620 by Cornelis Drebbel.  The first paddle wheel steamboat began rolling down the river during the late 1769s and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  About 100 years later we saw the first cable car.  The Wright Brothers took off in the first airplane which they called a "flying machine" in 1903. Henry Ford created the system to mass produce cars in 1908.  Successful helicopter flights took off in the 1940's.  Jumbo jets began gracing the runways in 1970.  And, the Space Shuttle blasted off in 1981. (www.typesofthings.com).

 Let us first classify the transportation means and then attempt to understand how history unfolded for each one.

Broadly speaking, transportation means can be classified as under:-

  • Land transport

  • Water transport

  • Air transport

  • Space transport 

1.3.2 Importance of Transport

Transport refers to the activity that facilitates physical movement of goods as well as individuals from one place to another. People use various products in their daily life. Many of them are produced at different places. They are carried on from all those places through rail, road or air and are made available to the people, at locality. Trucks, tempo, lorries and bullock carts etc., are used to, carry products or even raw materials from one place to another. Similarly, people travel from one place to another by buses, trains, cars, scooters, rickshaws cycle, etc.

This movement of goods and individuals is very important in economy. Because of this, raw materials reach the place of manufacture, finished products reach the place of sale or consumption, individuals move around to manage the business, social relationships etc. In business, transport is considered as an auxiliary to trade, that means, it supports trade and industry in carrying raw materials to the place of production and distributing finished products for consumption. Individuals or business firms that engage themselves in such activities are called transporters. Generally, transporters carry raw material, finished products, passengers, etc, from one place to another. So it removes the distance barrier. Now-a-days goods produced at one place are readily available at distant places. People move freely throughout the world because of transport. It is associated with every step of our life. Without transport, people as well as business units cannot move a single step.

          There has been heavy investment in the transport sector since Independence and the progress has been significance. But the task is so gigantic that it would require many years and large doses of investment to bring about the desired improvement in the country's transport system.

The bottlenecks, especially in railways, roads and ports, pose a threat to economic growth. The share of railways in freight traffic needs to be improved and passenger services, especially in backward areas, need to be expanded. In the road segment, highway network needs expansion to ensure smooth movement of goods and people. The capacity of major, medium and minor ports also needs to be augmented and the inland waterways developed. The pollution caused by vehicles, especially in large cities, is another problem that needs to be addressed. These are daunting tasks, but by no means unachievable. The entry of private groups into the transport sector is expected to improve things. But the role of the Government will remain paramount. (www.tcil.com/t.asp/india).

Effective transportation is indispensable to economic progress. Mining, manufacturing, trade and banking and agriculture are also necessary, but these activities, like many others, depend upon transportation. Without adequate facilities for moving goods and people from place to place, economic and social activities can be carried on in a limited way only. Using a mobility index that combines available data on transport facilities and movement of passengers and freight, Wilfred Owen finds out that immobility and poverty go together. The countries with low per capita had a mobility index for freight and passenger transport in single digits, whereas this index was significantly high in countries with high per capita income. Indeed, a more recent study finds out that every one-percentage growth in the Indian economy presumes a growth of 1.2 to 1.4 per cent in the transport sector. (www.tcil.com/t.asp/india). Economic functions of transportation

Transportation is an economic function, that is to say, it serves along with other productive functions in the production of goods and services in the economy.

  • Creation of utility: Production has been defined as the creation of utility, i.e., the quality of usefulness. Transportation creates the utility of place, and to a lesser degree, that of time.

  • As a cost of production: Since transportation is a part of production, an increase in its efficiency helps in reducing the cost of producing goods and thus reduces their prices. Cheaper transportation has both direct and indirect effects on cost of production. Directly, reduction in transport rates laid to overall lower production costs by lessening the outlays for assembling raw materials and shipping finished products by reducing the expense of travel. Indirectly, cheaper transportation tends towards lower cost of production by making possible more efficient extraction and manufacturing, through promoting the division of labour and large-scale production.

  • Specialization and division of labour: Transportation enables society to enjoy advantages of specializations of resources, and the benefits of labour by making it possible for products to be brought great distance, thus avoiding the necessity for local production for all conceivable commodities of need. Each economic region can thus concentrate upon the goods and services for which it is best adapted either through natural resources endowment or through historical development. It, thus, leads to a better economic use of available resources.

  • Large-scale marketing: Closely associated with the foregoing is the fact that transportation helps to expand the size of market. No modern large-scale producer could operate if he will to serve only the local market. Obviously, a large-scale production is possible when the market extends to the whole nation and in a few cases to the whole world.

  • Consumption of wealth: Transportation is also related to consumption of wealth. It increases the quality and variety of consumable goods, thereby stimulating wants. There is more production because of the decrease in the cost of production brought about by transportation. A greater variety occurs because transportation enables a community to enjoy even those goods that could not be produced in the immediate vicinity. (www.tcil.com/t.asp/india).

1.3.3 Social and political functions of transportation

Transportation performs many social and political functions.

  • Transportation raises the standard of living, making possible improved housing, clothing, food and recreation.

  • It helps break the barrier of isolation by promoting social interaction and thus promotes culture and intelligence, especially in a country of the size and population of India.

  • It promotes national unity in that it promotes homogeneity among the people. Another reason is that it creates a need for political unity, by making the different parts of the country economically interdependent.

  • It helps in the strengthening of national defence. It is an important agency which helps in the mobilization of the entire resources of a country in the event of war and peace.

  • In modern world, transport along with energy is the basic infrastructural requirement for industrialization. The developing countries have accorded it an important place in their programmes of economic development. Transport provides a vital link between production centres, distribution areas and the ultimate consumers. It also exercises a unifying and integrating influence upon the economy. Important means of transport are railways, roads, water transport (both inland and overseas) and air transport. (www.tcil.com/t.asp/india).

1.4 Role of Transportation in Society

1.4.1 Economic role of transportation

Economics involves production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. People depend upon the natural resources to satisfy the needs of life but due to non uniform surface of earth and due to difference in local resources, there is a lot of difference in standard of living in different societies. So there is immense requirement of transport of resources from one particular society to the other. These resources can range from material things to knowledge and skills like movement of Doctors and Technicians to the places were there is need of them.

1.4.2 Social role of transportations

Transportation has always played an important role in influencing the formation of urban societies. Although other facilities like availability of food and water played a major role, the contribution of transportation can be seen clearly from the formation, size and pattern, and the development of societies, especially urban centres.

1.4.3 Political role of transportation

The world is divided into numerous political units which are formed for mutual protection, economic advantages and development of common culture. Transportation plays an important role in the functioning of such political units.

1.4.4 Administration of an area

The government of an area must be able to send/ get information to/ about its people. It may include laws to be followed, security and other needful information needed to generate awareness. An efficient administration of a country largely depends on how effectively government could communicate its information to all the country. However, with the advent of communications, its importance is slightly reduced.

1.4.5 Political choices in transport

These choices may be classified as communication, military movement, and travel of persons and movement of freight. The primarily function of transportation is the transfer of messages and information. It is also needed for rapid movement of troops in case of emergency and finally movement of persons of goods. The political decision of construction and maintenance of roads has resulted in the development of transportation system. (NPTEL, May 7, 2007). The importance of transports are be listed as follows

(a) Makes available raw materials to manufacturers or producers

Transport makes it possible to carry raw materials from places where they are available, to places where they can be processed and assembled into finished goods.

(b) Makes available goods to customers

Transport makes possible movement of goods from one place to another with great ease and speed. Thus, consumers spread in different parts are benefited of consuming goods produced at distant places.

(c) Enhances standards of living

Easy means of transport facilities large – scale production at low costs. It gives consumers the choice to make use to different quantities of goods at different prices.

(d) Helps during emergencies and natural calamities

In times of natural crisis, due to war or international distribution, transport helps in quick movement of troops and the supplying needed in the operation.

(e) Helps in creation of employment

Transports provide employment opportunity to individuals as drivers, conductors, pilot, cabin crew, captain the ship etc., who are directly engaged, in transport business. It also provides employment to people indirectly in the industries various means of transport and other transport equipments. People can also provide repairing and maintenance services by opening service centres at convenient locations.

(f) Helps in Labour mobility

Transport helps a lot in providing mobility to workers. The people from our country will be aware of going to foreign countries for the work in different industries and factories. Foreigners also come to India for work. In India, people also move from one part to another in search of work. Most industries have their own transport system to bring the workers from where they reside to the place of work.

(g) Helps in bringing nations together

Transport facilitates movement of people from one country to another. It helps in exchange of cultures, views and practices between the people of different countries. This brings about greater understanding among people and awareness about different countries. Thus, it helps to promote a feeling of international brotherhood. (www.nos.org/secbuscour/cc10.pdf).

1.5 Transportation in India

India's transportation sector has not been able to keep pace with rising demand and is proving to be a drag on the economy. Major improvements in the sector are therefore required to support the country's continued economic growth and to reduce poverty.

India’s transport sector is large and diverse; it caters to the needs of 1.1 billion people. In 2007, the sector contributed about 5.5 percent to the nation’s GDP, with road transportation contributing the lion’s share.

Good physical connectivity in the urban and rural areas is essential for economic growth. Since the early 1990s, India's growing economy has witnessed a rise in demand for transport infrastructure and services.

However, the sector has not been able to keep pace with rising demand and is proving to be a drag on the economy. Major improvements in the sector are therefore required to support the country's continued economic growth and to reduce poverty. (www.worldbank.org.in).

1.6 Aspects of Tranportation

1.6.1 International transportation

The growth of the amount of freight being traded as well as a great variety of origins and destinations promotes the importance of international transportation as a fundamental element supporting the global economy. International transportation systems have been under increasing pressures to support additional demands in volume and distance carried. This could not have occurred without considerable technical improvements permitting to transport larger quantities of passengers and freight, and this more quickly and more efficiently. Few other technical improvements than containerization have contributed to this environment of growing mobility of freight. Since containers and their inter modal transport systems improve the efficiency of global distribution, a growing share of general cargo moving globally is containerized. Consequently, transportation is often referred as an enabling factor that is not necessarily the cause of international trade, but a mean over which globalization could not have occurred without. A common development problem is the inability of international transportation infrastructures to support flows, undermining access to the global market and the benefits that can be derived from international trade. International trade requires distribution infrastructures that can support trade between several partners. Three components of international transportation facilitate trade:

1.6.2 Transportation infrastructure

Concerns physical infrastructures such as terminals, vehicles and networks. Efficiencies or deficiencies in transport infrastructures will either promote or inhibit international trade.

1.6.3 Transportation services

Concerns the complex set of services involved in the international circulation of passengers and freight. It includes activities such as distribution, logistics, finance, insurance and marketing.

1.6.4 Transactional environment

Concerns the complex legal, political, financial and cultural setting in which international transport systems operate. It includes aspects such as exchange rates, regulations, quotas and tariffs, but also consumer preferences. About half of the global trade takes place between locations of more than 3,000 km apart. Because of the involved geographical scale, most international freight movements involve several modes, especially when origins and destinations are far apart. Transport chains must thus be established to service these flows which reinforce the importance of inter modal transportation modes and terminals at strategic locations. Among the numerous transport modes, two are specifically concerned with international trade.

1.6.5 Ports and maritime shipping

The importance of maritime transportation in global freight trade in unmistakable, particularly in terms of tonnage as it handles about 90% of the global trade. Thus, globalization is the realm of maritime shipping, with containerized shipping at the forefront of the process. The global maritime transport system is composed of a series of major gateways granting access to major production and consumption regions. Between those gateways are major hubs acting as points of interconnection and transhipment between systems of maritime circulation.

1.6.6 Airports and air transport

Although in terms tonnage air transportation carries an insignificant amount of freight (0.2% of total tonnage) compared with maritime transportation, its importance in terms of the total value is much more significant; about 15%. International air freight is about 70 times more valuable than its maritime counterpart and about 30 times more valuable than freight carried overland, which is linked with the types of goods it transports (e.g. electronics). The location of freight airports correspond to high technology manufacturing clusters as well as intermediary locations where freight planes are refuelled and/or cargo is transhipped.

Road and railway modes tend to occupy a more marginal portion of international transportation since they are above all modes for national or regional transport services. Their importance is focused on their role in the "first and last miles" of global distribution. Freight is mainly brought to port and airport terminals by trucking or rail. There are however notable exceptions in the role of overland transportation in international trade. A substantial share of the NAFTA trade between Canada, United States and Mexico is supported by trucking, as well as large share of the Western European trade. In spite of this, these exchanges are at priori regional by definition, although inter modal transportation confers a more complex setting in the interpretation of these flows.

Economic development in Pacific Asia and in China in particular, has been the dominant.

1.7 Types of Transport and their share in India

1.7.1 Roads

Roads are the dominant mode of transportation in India today. They carry almost 85 percent of the country’s passenger traffic and more than 60 percent of its freight. The density of India’s highway network -- at 0.66 km of roads per square kilometer of land – is similar to that of the United States (0.65) and much greater than China's (0.16) or Brazil's (0.20). However, most roads in India are narrow and congested with poor surface quality, and 33 percent of India’s villages do not have access to all-weather roads. (www.worldbank.org.in).

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