I. ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT OF FLOOD IMPACTS
D. Related population and socio-economic setting
3. Transport sector
The country has about 2,746 kilometers of railroads, 13,277 kilometers of paved roads and more than 8,400 kilometers of perennial and seasonal waterways. Estimates of the share of freight and passenger traffic by inland water transport were 31 per cent and 15 per cent of the total flows in 1995 respectively (DHV, 1989). Rivers are the lifeline of the nation and provide the cheapest means of transport. Mechanized vessels as well as a huge number of country boats operate both for cargo and passenger traffic. During the monsoon, country boats are the only means of transportation in inaccessible rural areas. Low type paved roads (roads generally of stones, bricks, gravel or ordinary earth roads properly aligned and with drainage structure provided) also suffer damage every year during the monsoon. About 25 per cent of the paved roads are earthen. Rural roads are mainly feeder roads, Thana connecting roads are constructed and maintained by local bodies.