In Kerala, traffic has been growing at a rate of about 11 percent
every year resulting in excessive pressure on the roads in the state.
aroad density in the state is 417 km/ 100 sq. km and higher than the national
average of 100.39 km/ 100 sq. km. 162149 km of road length in the state
is maintained by different agencies like Panchayats, PWD (R&B), Municipalities,
Corporations, Forests, Irrigation, PWD (NH) and others like Railway, KSEB
There are eight National Highways in Kerala. The National Highway network in the state is of length 1523.954 km. this is only 2.3% of total National Highways in the country.
National Highways in Kerala
Vehicles Department is one of the major revenue earning departments of
the State. The main functions of the MVD are registration of motor vehicles,
collection of tax on motor vehicles, issuance of permits and licenses
for plying the vehicles on roads, regulation and enforcement of Motor
Vehicles Rules and Act etc. The number of Motor Vehiles having valid registration
as on 31.3.2007 is 4025350 as against 3559504 in the previous year. The
newly registered vehicles come to 465846(13.08%) during 2006-07.
STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION (KSRTC)
KSRTC, the largest
public sector transport organization in the State, acts as the feeder
service to the rail, air and inland water transport. The vehicle density
of the state is very high compared to many other states in India. About
12045 passengers travelled in KSRTC buses during 2006-07. KSRTC is the
only SRTC in India paying pension and pensionary benefits from its own
KTDFC set up for financing transport services in the state started in 1991-92 with equity capital contribution from government. It was formed with the objective of providing loan to KSRTC and other governmental/ quasi government organisation and individuals for purchase of new vehicles. Transport Development Finance Corporation is a non-banking financial company registered under the Reserve Bank of India.
Railways has a significant
role to play in the transport system of the state. The Southern Railway
divisions of Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Madurai together control
various operations in the State. Out of this, Thiruvananthapuram Division
handles lion's share of railway activities in the state. Since the present
railway system is mainly coastal, it does not reach the major agricultural
and plantation areas of the state.
Kerala has a coastal length of 585 km and has 17 ports including
one major port, three intermediate ports and 13 minor ports. Cochin is
the major port. Remaining non major ports are under the control of Government
of Kerala. government , in addition to the support to the ship building
industries, would encourages other port based industries related to warehouses,
container freight stations etc.
Cochin Port ia an ISO 9001-2000 certified port administered by a board of trustees under the major Port Trust act 1963. It spreads over 827 hectares with awater frontage of 7.5 km. 38 cruise vessels visited the Cochin port during 2006 – 07. The port handled a traffic of 152.57 lakh tonnes as against 138.88 lakh tonnes in the previous year. The container traffic throughput for the year was 226808 TEUs. The number of container vessels called at Cochin Port decreased from 421 in 2005 – 06 to 382 in 2006 – 07 showing a decrease of 9.26%. At the same time the number of passenger vessels increased from 26 in 2005 –06 to 38 during 2006 – 07 representing an increase of 46.15%.
The port has connectivity to hinterland through NH 47, NH 17 and NH 49. Rail links to the Konkan and Southern Railway also give key rail access to its hinterland. An inland waterway connecting to Kollam and Kottappuram on either side is being developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India. 97% of the total volume of traffic from the Cochin Port is accounted by Kerala, though the hinterland of the port spreads to parts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka States.
Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal
The International Container Transhipment Terminal brings India's maritime trade a tremendous saving. Besides, the project will ensure rapid development of the State that has lagged in industrialization and generate employment and facilitate investment to the tune of Rs. 7500 crores. Such a development would have a cascading effect on the industrial, economic, commercial and social growth of the State.
Vizhinjam Deepwater International Container Transhipment Terminal
The construction of a Terminal at Vizhinjam will increase the country's proximity to the international sea route, which links Europe, Persian Gulf and the Far East. Vizhinjam Deepwater Container Transhipment Terminal when completed would be able to cater to container vessels of up to 8000 TEUs in the initial phase and 10000 to 12000 TEUs sizes in the subsequent phases. Owned by the Government of Kerala, Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) acts as the Nodal agency or sponsor for the port development project providing external infrastructural support. IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. is the strategic advisor for project structuring, procurement of consultants and developers. The knowledge partners of the project are M/s L&T-RAMBOLL Consulting Engineers Limited, in association with ROGGE Marine Consulting GMBH, Germany, RAMBOLL, Denmark and L&T Capital Company Limited, who have carried out feasibility studies.
Intermediate and Minor Ports
The three Intermediate Ports in the State are Beypore, Alappuzha
and Neendakara. Beypore Port and Neendakara Port are engaged in cargo
transportation. The only item exported through the Neendakara Port is
Ilmenite. The minor Ports are Kovalam-Vizhinjam, Valiyathura, Thankasseri,
Kayamkulam, Munambam/ Kodungalloor, Ponnani, Vadakara, Thalasseri, Kannur,
Azhikal, Neeleswaram, Kasaragod and Manjeswaram.
INLAND WATER TRANSPORT
The government agencies engaged in the development of Inland Water Transport in Kerala are Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation Department (CSIND), State Water Transport Department (SWTD) and Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation Ltd (KSINC).
The Inland Canals play an important role in the economy of the State as they inter-connect the rivers on the banks of which are situated places of commercial and industrial importance and also give a connection from interior places to the West Coast Canal System. The West Coast Canal is having total length of 560 Kms starting from Kovalam to Hosdurg. Cochi-Kollam section is the most important portion of the West Coast Canal and carries about 60 percent of the total tonnage cargo carried by inland waterways of the State. It connects the major industrial belt of Aluva Udyogamandal and CEPZ at the north and the commercial town of Kollam in the south. The Vembanad Lake have 83 km long waterway extending over an area of 205 sqkm has Cochi at the northern end and Alapuzha at the southern end. Five rivers drain into this lake and these rivers are navigable for a length of about 30 kms upstream from the points of outfall. The low-laying areas of Kuttanad, the once rice bowl of Kerala, is adjacent to this lake.
State Water Transport Department, started in 1968, operates passenger boats in the water logged areas of Alappuzha, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kasaragod districts. The gross route distance of the department is 6775 kms with scheduled trips of 646. The number of boats in operation of the department decreased from 49 to 47 during 2006-07.