Modes of Transport
The earliest man lived in caves and forests. He had no house and no office. Then there were no schools, no factories, and no markets. Since practically man had nothing to do at that time and he had nowhere to go to there was no need for any means of transport except the shank’s mare.
Later, as man developed in certain respects, the domesticated certain animals for food, milk, etc. As agriculture developed, he needed some means of transport and thus the animals like asses, camels, etc., came in handy to him. The horse seems to have been used or domesticated by a man at a later stage. Now, the necessity of roads was also felt. So far, the roads were only kutcha or later covered with pebbles or bricks. Cemented and macadamized roads are only a recent phenomenon.
By and by man felt the necessity of using horses and donkeys and later mules for riding purposes also. Elephants were used both for riding and transport purposes in grassy and marshy lands. Camels were used in desert areas.
The invention of wheels with axles revolutionized the transport world. While wheel and cart or the bullock cart was used in villages and is still used in certain states of India, other means of transport began to be used. Thus came the bicycle and tricycle for children for use on the home or lawn or street pavement. Bicycle is still commonly used in rural areas and many poor and middle-class people have it in urban areas also.
Now, we have trolleys, cars, scooters, trucks, buses, diesel and electric trains, trams, aeroplanes, ships and spaceships.
We have so many scooters or scooter-type things like mopeds, auto mopeds or motorbikes. We have three-wheelers and four-wheelers. They consume petrol and that causes pollution in the atmosphere.
Similarly, cars, trucks and buses also run-on petrol or diesel and cause a lot of pollution. There are now numerous varieties of cars like Maruti, Opel, Santro, Contessa, Mercedes, etc.
Some cars are small but others are very spacious and can enable five, six or more people to be accommodated comfortably. Many of the luxury cars are now air-conditioned and well-equipped for comfortable travel. There are many luxury buses also.
Now many buses, cars, taxis and auto vehicles are running on CNG gas instead of petrol or diesel. Efforts are going on to improve the condition of vehicles like cars and buses for providing a trouble-free journey to the passengers. Simultaneously, improvement in the condition of roads is also being brought about. Where the roads have been improved by widening and other means, buses run very fast and the journey from one place to the other now takes much less time.
Many precious lives are, however, lost in accidents on the – roads which often take place due to rash driving. Sometimes dangerous railway accidents also take place.
Similarly, now, many fast trains have also been started. They are such as the Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, etc.
Now, aeroplanes also fly at great speed. There are not only passenger planes but also aeroplanes for transport purposes. Many of aeroplanes, particularly those of the former type, travel at the speed which is faster than even that of sound. Unfortunately, many of the best types of aeroplanes are reserved for military purposes. Of course, defence of the country is an important matter. But when every country thinks of defence, war material such as diabolical bombs and rockets get accumulated all over the world. These can be misused by some unscrupulous rulers or wrongly used even by a conscientious ruler through some miscalculation of the enemy’s intentions. Thus, by means of these aeroplanes and several other war items or means, war always seems to be looming large over mankind.
Then there are ships which carry men to distant lands and also transport all kinds of goods from one country to the other.
Future of space travel
In the modern age, we now have so many men-made satellites roaming in space. Most of them are man-less and are controlled remotely by man from the earth. But a good number of men of different nationalities (including those of India) have already travelled in space, maybe, just for experimental, meteorological or for other similar peaceful means.
Now, it is not impossible for man to travel in space. The Russian Space Agency is said to be sending people into space on a private basis. But the charges are very high and only billionaires can afford them. As space travel becomes easier, cheaper, more comfortable and more useful in times to come, space travel, seems to be a distinct possibility in the near future.