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Write an explanatory note on the importance of inland water transport in India

1. Throw light on the development of internal water transport in India. ( 65th BPSC geography)

2. Write an explanatory note on the importance of inland water transport in India.
( UPPSC, UP PCS, 2018, 10 Marks)

Inbound water transport includes traffic in rivers, canals, dams, lakes, backwaters, and creeks that transport passengers and goods by boats, steamers, and ships.
Despite India having many perennial rivers and river systems, internal water transport is of little use compared to other countries.
Importance of internal water transport:
The following are the importance of internal water transport or waterways:

A cheap mode of transport:
  • Inland water transport is very cheap compared to other modes of transport. The expenses incurred in the construction of internal waterways are very less as compared to the construction of other transport such as roads, and railways.
  • Maintenance cost is also very less as compared to roadways and railways.
High fuel efficiency:
  • Inland water transport fuel efficiency is very good as compared to road and railways for carrying the same amount of goods over the same distance.
  • Inland water transport helps in reducing the use of road transport and reducing the import of crude oil.
Environmentally friendly:
  • It is eco-friendly:
  • It consumes less fuel.
  • It is generally found naturally and during construction, no environmental damages like forest clearance are done.
Suitable for heavy transport:
  • Internal water transport is more suitable for bulky goods than the road network.
  • There are fewer accidents than on roads, railways, and airways. It is a safe mode of transportation.
Reduces Regional Inequality:
  • Right now the areas of road highways have already been developed in our country, if we develop internal waterways, then the areas near it will also develop which will help in developing regional inequality.
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