Transport and Communications
The post, telegraph and telephone facilities that are made available in the district are the chief means of communication. 5 head post offices, 597 post offices. 111 telephone exchanges and 183 public call offices are available in the district. The telephone facilities in the district are being improved further by converting the existing exchanges into electronic exchanges.
During the period of Diwan, Sir.T. Madhava Rao, the state achieved remarkable progress in the field of communication. The length of roads gradually increased. An important landmark in the history of Travancore was the creation of PWD, a Road Board to advise the Government. The road from Quilon to Cochin was nationalised in 1949. The Alleppey-Changanassery road was opened for traffic in 1958. At present, there are 6 transport units in this district. The total length of National Highway passing through Cherthala, Ambalappuzha and Karthikappally taluks is about 97 km. As on 1-4-1990, the total length of PWD roads including State Highway, district roads and village roads is about 967.84 km.
There are two railway lines in this district. The Ernakulam-Kollam railway line was opened on 17th October, 1958 which passes through Chengannur, Cherianad, Mavelikkara and Kayamkulam. The Ernakulam-Alappuzha railway line (51 km) was commissioned on 16th October, 1989. It is a landmark in the development of the district. An interconnecting rail link with a length of 43 km from Alappuzha to Kayamkulam was opened in 1992 and with this the district came to the main stream of industrial development and transport with the rest of the State. The main railway stations in the Ernakulam - Alappuzha route are Cherthala, Thuravur and Mararikulam and in the Alappuzha-Kayalamkulam route are Ambalappuzha, Thakazhy, Karuvatta, Haripad and Cheppad.
Canals play an important part in the transportation and communication systems of this district. There are villages in the district which are accessible only by inland water transport. Vembanad lake is the main artery of the inland navigation system. It forms the most important part of the west coast canal system which starts from Hosdurg in the north and ends at Thiruvananthapuram in the south. A network of rivers and canals connects the places of commercial importance like Kochi, Kottayam, Chengannur and Changanassery. Alappuzha town is connected with Changanassery by Alappuzhaa-Changanassery canal passing through Kuttanad area. The Wadai and commercial canals take off from Vembanad lake and run parallel through the heart of the town. Some of the inland canals falling in this district are Alappuzha-Ambalappuzha, Alappuzha-Changanassery, Alappuzha commercial canal, Alappuzha-Kottayam, Alappuzha-Wadai, Alappuzha-Thalavadi, Alappuzha-West junction, Kakkazhaam-Kayamkulam salt shell, Muhamma - Puchakkal canal etc. There are ferry services in almost all the water logged areas.
Alappuzha port, one of the two intermediate ports on the west coast of Kerala was the first commercial port in the princely State of Travancore. It was established by Raja Kesavadas, the Diwan of Travancore. Shipping operations are carried out rarely since the starting of Cochin port. During the period 1981 to 1991 only 5 ships have come to the port, of which one was during 1982-83, three were during 1988-89 and one was during 1989-90. During the above said period 414 tonnes of coir products have been exported and 51808 tonnes of rice and 24517 tonnes of wheat have been imported. There is no Airport in the district. The nearest Airport is at Kochi which is 64 km from Alappuzha.