52.37 L travel more than 50 km to reach working place

Around 6.01 crore people engaged in work other than agriculture and household industry do not travel a single km for their job while 52.37 lakh have to cover more than 50 km to reach their working place.

The Census 2011 on workers released recently puts the total number of workers engaged in jobs as cultivator, agricultural labourer and household industry worker at 20.04 crore and their favourite mode of transport is bus and bicycles. India has a workforce of around 47.41 crore.

While over six crore do not travel for job, 4.57 crore travel between two and five kilometres while 3.26 crore travel less than one kilometre for work. Another 2.73 crore, according to the Census, travel six to 10 km while another 1.13 crore travel 11 to 20 km.

This declines to 75.10 lakh workers for 21-30 km travel and further down to 48.64 lakh for 31-50 km travel.

A break-up showed that 2.62 crore workers use bicycles to reach their house. Among this, 22.65 lakh even cover a distance of 21-30 km while 19.44 lakh rides between 11-20 km, which could mean that they may not be earning enough to avail public transport system or there are sufficient connectivity.

There is no record of workers cycling more than 30 km to reach their workplace, according to the Census.

Buses were other major transport mode with 2.29 crore using it. Of this, maximum workers (53.99 lakh) use buses to cover a distance 6-10 km while 23.27 lakh cover more than 50 km.

Country’s reluctance in developing waterways is reflected in the Census figures, which showed that it is the least preferred transport mode with just 4.89 lakh using it. While 72,418 workers use water transport to reach their workplace located more than 50 km from their residence, another 86,721 use it to over 6-10 km.

According to the Census, 60.40 lakh workers use auto or taxi to reach their destinations. Several workers use autos and taxis to reach offices, which are at a short distance – 21.06 lakh that have their offices in less than five km from their residence and 15.36 lakh for reaching their offices in a range of six to 10 km. Another 54.76 lakh use car, van or jeep to reach their offices.






No Travel


6.01 crore




3.26 crore


2-5 km


4.57 crore


6-10 km


2.73 crore


11-20 km


1.13 crore


21-30 km


75.10 lakh


31-50 km


48.64 lakh


51+ km


52.37 lakh

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Nov 12, 2015)


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