India’s shipping ministry is studying plans to reduce road transportation of new vehicles within the country by opening a new shipping route using Mundra in Gujarat province on the north west coast as the hub.

The plan envisages shipping vehicles from the Chennai auto manufacturing hub on the south east coast to Gujarat (another automaking hub region) for onward transportation to Delhi by road while vehicles built in the Delhi area would be sent south out of Gujarat.

Nissan, Ford, Hyundai and Ashok Leyland are among the vehicle manufacturers based around Chennai while Toyota is based near the southern city of Bangalore using Chennai as its shipping hub. Maruti Suzuki and Honda are both based in the Delhi region and Suzuki plans a new Gujarat plant to supply Maruti.

The Indian government is also studying World Bank plans to open up more than 1,600km (1,000 miles) of inland waterway to cargo shipments linking Kolkata in the east to the central northern city of Allahabad to help ease road congestion and pollution.