Social Scientist. v 6, no. 68 (March 1978) p. 34.


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P IBRAHIM

The Development of Transport Facilities in Kerala: A Historical Review

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP between transportation facilities and economic growth appears to be complex. Economic growth may require transportation facilities as a pre-condition; the latter may not bey however, a sufficient condition for economic growth.1 Construction of roads, opening up of waterways and introduction of railways, need not, by themselves, generate the process of economic change. Nor does it seem to be plausible to hypothesise that transportation facilities would develop only in response to economic growth. In this paper we shall attempt to examine the nature of the interrelationship between the two variables as revealed by the experience in the three regions of Keralaónamely Malabar, Cochin and Travancoreóduring the period from the second half of the 19th century till the attainment of Independence in 1947.

The two major questions examined are (1) What are the factors that contributed to the development of the transport system in its present form in Kerala, and (2) What factors accounted for the differences in the structure, level and rate of development of transport, as between the three erstwhile regions of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore?

Evolution of Transport

The development of modern transport in Kerala appears to have begun only by the latter half of the [19th century. The earlier efforts,.



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