Focus on developing railway infrastructure is important to cope with rising freight and passenger traffic in the country, according to Rakesh Mohan, economist and Distinguished Fellow, Brookings India.

Addressing the 12th Founder’s Day Lecture at Madras Institute of Development Studies on ‘Transporting India to 2030s’, Mohan said railway infrastructure development has lagged over the years due to emphasis on road development.

With passenger and freight traffic expected to increase, a dedicated freight transport line should be introduced and passenger lines should be made efficient. “Marginal technical investments in passenger lines can increase the speed of the vehicle,” Mohan said.

Mohan said as the country moves towards developed economy, there is a need for improving transport sector as a whole. It needs sufficient investments, integrated transport system that connects all modes of transport and policy changes.

Transport investment For that to happen, investments for overall infrastructure should be increased from the current $425 billion to $1.25 trillion in the next four years. Transport investment should be increased from 2.7 per cent to 3.7 per cent in the next five years.

To bring about the change in policy, there is a need for a workforce with adequate expertise. “India lacks expertise with regard to framing polices and application of technology in policies. This should be addressed,” he said.