Terming the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor as a “useless project” and “complete waste of money”, former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan on Friday said India needs the right kind of investment in transport sector if it wants to grow at 7-9 per cent.
He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative will not be effective if the government does not invest in transport sector, adding that India needs affordable and accessible transportation.
“Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor is a useless project. It’s complete waste of money,” Mohan said at an event organised by Brookings India here.
The 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor’s cost is estimated at around Rs 1 lakh crore, which is much higher than the combined cost of Rs 81,000 crore for two dedicated freight corridors, he noted.
“Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will benefit the whole country, not just passengers going from Ahmedabad to Mumbai,” Mohan said.
“I really do believe that if you do want to grow at 7-9 per cent a year for over next 20 years, then the correct kind of investment in transport sector is absolutely essential.
“The government does need to understand it is not a sideshow,” said Mohan, who has twice served as deputy governor at RBI.
While the search process for RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s successor is currently on, Mohan’s name is being speculated among the possible contenders.
Talking about government’s investment in transport sector, the former executive director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that India should not waste money on high speed rail projects.
Mohan added that there is need to accelerate work on both eastern and western dedicated freight corridors.