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India: Motor Vehicles
Country Study > Chapter 6 > Character and Structure of the Economy > Transportation > Motor Vehicles


The number of registered vehicles increased from 300,000 in FY 1950 to 5.2 million in FY 1980 and 23.4 million in FY 1991. India now has more than 375,000 buses and 800,000 trucks. About 40 percent of bus transport is in the public sector. Major urban bus lines are found in cities such as Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi, Madras, and other major urban agglomerates. Bombay, India's largest city, for example, had some 3,000 buses running on 339 routes and carrying 1.6 billion passengers per year in FY 1992. The National Capital Territory of Delhi, with more than 3,800 buses and 870 routes, carried nearly 1.4 billion passengers in that year, and the Madras bus system, with some 2,300 vehicles and 428 routes, carried around 1.3 billion passengers. Because it has a subway system in place, Calcutta's bus service is considerably smaller. Calcutta had 1,200 buses and 202 routes and carried 308 million passengers per year in FY 1992. There are also unregulated bus services in some cities as well as extensive suburban and interurban and rural bus services.

Truck transportation is largely in private hands. Two-wheel and three-wheel vehicles also play a major role in hauling passengers and freight. Emissions control is very low by international standards, and fumes from motor vehicles contribute mightily to India's air pollution. New Delhi ranks among the ten most polluted cities in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Automotive traffic causes much of the pollution.

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

India Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 199 of 374


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