The railways has to do a lot of catching-up in view of the exponential growth in traffic which has surpassed the pace of infrastructural development, railway minister Suresh Prabhu said. He emphasised the need to bolster the railway infrastructure through speedier implementation of technological ideas and management techniques so as to keep it competitive and retain its share of freight and passenger traffic.
“We must try to very quickly increase infrastructure and improve the operational efficiency. The catching-up could mean speeding up implementation of management techniques and technological ideas,” Prabhu said at an international technical seminar in New Delhi. The seminar was hosted by Institution of Permanent Way Engineers. Railways Board chairman AK Mittal, other top officials and foreign experts in the field of track technology were present.
Prabhu also outlined the need for an in-house research and development centre for the railways to focus on critical areas and integrate global research and development with the public transport. “We really need to bring in a permanent research and development centre within the railways to focus on areas of critical importance and to coordinate with different research organisations,” he said.
This centre could identify critical areas to be focused on and explore research and development ideas globally and integrate it with day-to-day management, he said. He said laying of the tracks at a fast pace is an “absolute necessity” as he pointed out the importance of material management for effective planning.