Transport in Karnataka
Karnataka, a state in South India has a well-developed transport system. Its capital city, Bangalore is well-connected by air to domestic and international destinations and the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) in the city is one of the busiest airports in India. It is also the headquarters of the airlines, Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines. The road transport is also well developed in the state with many National and State highways providing means for fast transportation. The headquarters of the South-Western Railway division of Indian Railways is located at Hubli and this division governs most of the railway network in the state. Konkan Railway which passes along the coastal region of the state is considered as one of the toughest engineering projects being undertaken in India till date. Buses, cars and trains are the means of transport for moving across distant places in Karnataka. For transportation within the city or town limits; motorbikes, cars, autorickshaws and buses are used. With the advent of low-cost airlines, many people are choosing to travel via air as well.
Mangalore and Bengaluru are the only two cities in the state that have International flights operating from their airports. While the international flights from Mangalore International Airport are only to countries located in the Middle East, Bangalore has good international connectivity with flights from different nations landing here. Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL) handled 10 million passengers in 2009, with about 300-315 air traffic movements (ATMs) a day. BIAL is host to 9 domestic airlines and 19 international airlines like and Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines, connecting the city to almost 50 destinations across India and the world. With Bengaluru being the 'IT capital' of India, the air traffic to this city has increased manifold.
Hubli Airport operates domestic flights to Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Jabalpur. Mysore Airport and Belgaum Airport have domestic air services to Bangalore. Besides these, there are airports at Bellary and Bidar that do not have any air service. In addition, there are private airstrips at Sedam, Koppal and Harihar.
The total length of rail track in Karnataka is 3089 km For a long time after independence, the railway network in the state was under the Southern and Western railway zones which were headquartered at Chennai and Mumbai respectively. The South Western Zone, headquartered at Hubballi was created in 2003 thus fulfilling a long-standing demand of the state. Several parts of the state now come under this zone with the remaining being under Southern Railways. Coastal Karnataka is covered under the Konkan railway network, a project that is regarded as one of the feats of Indian engineering and included the construction of a bridge of length 2,023 metres (6,637 ft) across the river Sharavathi at Honnavar and a tunnel of length 2,960 metres (9,711 ft) at Karwar. Bengaluru, the capital city, is extensively connected with inter-state destinations while other important cities and towns in the state are not so well-connected. The train connectivity within Karnataka has improved since K.H.Muniyappa,Member of Parliament from Kolar constituency has been the Union Minister of State for Railways.
- Mangaluru, one of the major cities in Karnataka now has a train service to other major cities like Bengaluru, Mysuru started on 8 December 2007, but not directly to Hubballi. There is a proposed railway line between Hubballi and Ankola to fulfill this demand.
- Shimoga-Talaguppa,Mysore-Chamarajanagar meter-gauge tracks has been converted to broad-gauge. There is a direct train service from Mysuru to Talaguppa which is very close to the world famous Jog Falls.An announcement regarding the extension of Bangalore-Shimoga Express (night train) to Talaguppa has been made in the Railway Budget 2012-13. There are 4 direct passenger trains running from Mysore to Chamarajanagar and a Chamarajanagar-Tirupati fast passenger which connects to the state capital Bengaluru via Mysuru.
- District capitals like Chikkamagaluru and Madikeri are not connected by a rail network.However a line linking Kadur in Chikkamagaluru district to Chikkamagaluru is underway. A rail link to Madikeri would be difficult since it is a hill station and any construction activity would harm the pristine environment.
- The district of Kodagu has no railway track within it.However a survey is under progress to link Mysuru with Kushalnagar in Kodagu district.
- Doubling of the track between Bengaluru and Mysuru (a line that receives very good patronage) is steadily progressing.
- Though the state has Konkan Railway within it; it has remained isolated with no trains running from other parts of the state to places that exist on the Konkan Railway.
The superfast Shatabdi Express trains run from Bengaluru to Chennai and Mysuru. A Jan Shatabdi express runs from Bengaluru to Hubballi and this is the first train in India that has been fitted with a GPS (Global Position System) based Location Announcement System. Using this system, the passengers are announced apriori the arrival of a station. Konkan Railway is an engineering marvel; the construction of which included the bridge across the river Sharavathi at Honnavar of length 2023 mts and a tunnel at Karwar of length 2960 mts. nnn
A high-end luxury train operated by the Tourism Department of Karnataka The Golden Chariot covers the places of interest in Karnataka and Goa under the tour name "Pride of the South". Places Covered: Bengaluru - Kabini/Bandipur - Mysuru - Hassan - Hampi - Gadag - Goa - Bengaluru. The same train covers the places of interest in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala with a different tour name "Southern Splendour". Places Covered: Bengaluru - Chennai - Mamallapuram - Pondicherry - Tiruchirapalli & Thanjavur - Madurai - Kanyakumari - Thiruvananthapuram - Backwaters & Kochi / Allepey - Bengaluru
Karnataka has 1 major port; the New Mangalore Port and 10 minor ports; Karwar, Belekeri, Tadri, Honnavar, Bhatkal, Kundapur, Hangarkatta, Malpe, Padubidri and Old Mangalore. The construction of the New Mangalore Port was started in 1962 and completed in 1974. It was incorporated as the 9th major port in India on 4 May 1974. This port handled 32.04 million tonnes of traffic in the fiscal year 2006-07 with 17.92 million tonnes of imports and 14.12 million tonnes of exports. This was actually a slowdown in traffic at this port compared to the previous fiscal year mainly due to the reduction in iron ore exports from the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company limited. The port also handled 1015 vessels including 18 cruise vessels during the year 2006-07. The sector of Inland water transport within the rivers of Karnataka is not well-developed.
Among the network of roads in Karnataka, 3973 km. of roads are National Highways. Karnataka also has state highways of length 9829 km. The road from Bengaluru to Mysuru (State Highway 17) is also well maintained and equal to the standard of a National Highway.
The public bus transport in Karnataka is managed by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). It was set up in 1961 with the objective of providing adequate, efficient, economic and properly coordinated road transport services. It operates 5100 schedules using 5400 vehicles covering 1.95 million kilometres and an average of 2.2 million passengers daily. About 25000 people are employed in KSRTC. For better management of public transport, KSRTC was bifurcated into three Corporations viz., Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bengaluru on 15th Aug 1997, North-west Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, Hubballi on 1st Nov 1997 and North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, Gulbarga on 1st Oct 2000. The reservation system is networked and computerised and tickets can be availed at designated kiosks in towns and cities. An online reservation system called AWATAR has also been devised by KSRTC using which travellers can reserve tickets online. KSRTC plies various categories of buses viz. Airavat Club-Class (high-end luxury Volvo/Mercedes-Benz multi-axle AC buses),Airavat (high-end luxury Volvo AC buses),Ambaari(Corona AC Sleeper/Executive),Non-AC Sleeper buses,Mercedes-Benz(high-end luxury AC buses), Rajahamsa Executive (deluxe buses),Karnataka Vaibhav (Semi-Deluxe), Karnataka Saarige(express buses). Grameena Sarige is another initiative by KSRTC to provide bus service to the rural populace of the state.
Buses run by private persons are allowed to operate in few districts of Karnataka.Inter district transportation are run by private operators, connecting capital Bangaluru and main cities like Mangaluru and Dharwad to district headquarters. Intra district transportation by private operators is currently allowed in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.Omni bus and Maxi cabs are also other modes of road transportation in the state, especially where KSRTC does not buses or run very few.
Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed 5 Greenfield Access Controlled 6/8 lane expressways for the state. These expressways are greenfield projects for which fresh land will be acquired and new alignment will be drawn. These roads will have different alignments and it will not overlap the existing national highways on the same route. The proposed expressways are Mangalore-Karwar-Panaji (400 km), Honnavar-Shimoga-Bangalore (325 km), Chitradurga-Solapur (400 km), Bangalore - Coimbatore (352 km) and Bangalore-Mangalore (360 km).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Transport in Karnataka.|
- "Karnataka to open two greenfield minor airports by July 2013". Business Standard. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Statistics related to transportation in Karnataka is provided by "Karnataka". Online webpage of Indian Investment Centre. Government of India. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- "Pilot project: GPS system on B’lore-Hubli Jan Shatabdi". Online Edition of the Deccan Herald, dated 2006-12-25. 2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- GS Prasanna Kumar. "Karnataka and Indian Railways, Colossal wastage of available resources or is it sheer madness of the authorities concerned". Online webpage of OurKarnataka.com. © 1998-00 OurKarnataka.Com,Inc. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
- The state of Railways in Karnataka is discussed by GS Prasanna Kumar. "Karnataka and Indian Railways, Colossal wastage of available resources or is it sheer madness of the authorities concerned". Online webpage of OurKarnataka.com. © 1998-00 OurKarnataka.Com,Inc. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
- Ports in Karnataka are mentioned by "Minor Ports of Karnataka". Online Webpage of Karnataka Ports Department. Government of Karnataka. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- Details related to New Mangalore Port is provided by"Slowdown in traffic at New Mangalore Port". Online Webpage of The Hindu, dated 2007-04-07 (Chennai, India: 2007, The Hindu). 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- National Highways in Karnataka are mentioned by "National Highways in Karnataka" (PDF). Online Webpage of Karnataka Government. Archived from the original on 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- A brief discussion on KSRTC is provided by "About KSRTC". Online webpage of KSRTC. KSRTC. Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-05-06.