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Transport in India

Transport in the Republic of India is an important part of the nation's economy. Since the economic liberalisation of the 1990s, development of infrastructure within the country has progressed at a rapid pace, and today there is a wide variety of modes of transport by land, water and air. However, India's relatively low GNP per capita has meant that access to these modes of transport has not been uniform.

In the interim, public transport remains the primary mode of transport for most of the population, and India's public transport systems are among the most heavily used in the world. India's rail network is the 4th longest and the most heavily used system in the world, transporting 8224 million passengers and over 969 million tonnes of freight annually, as of 2012.

Motor vehicle penetration is low by international standards, with only 103 million cars on the nation's roads. In addition, only around 10% of Indian households own a motorcycle. Despite this, the number of deaths caused by traffic is amongst the highest in the world and is still increasing The automobile industry in India is currently rapidly growing with an annual production of over 4.6 million vehicles, and vehicle volume is expected to rise greatly in the future.

Despite ongoing improvements in the sector, several aspects of the transport sector are still riddled with problems due to outdated infrastructure and lack of investment in less economically active parts of the country. The demand for transport infrastructure and services has been rising by around 10% a year with the current infrastructure being unable to meet these growing demands. According to recent estimates by Goldman Sachs, India will need to spend US$1.7 trillion on infrastructure projects over the next decade to boost economic growth, of which US$500 billion is budgeted to be spent during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan.


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