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India says no to Chinese high-speed rail

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by sangos, Mar 25, 2014.

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  1. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Beijing, March 19:
    India has indicated that it will not seek China's assistance in exploring the possibility of setting up its first ever high-speed rail line, dealing a blow to China Railway Corporation, which has been looking aggressively to enter the Indian market, building on its success at home. In China, the company has, in a span of five years, constructed the world’s largest high speed rail network.

    The agreed minutes of the third Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), which was held here on Tuesday, carried no reference to high-speed rail development, unlike in the previous round. China had pushed for listing high-speed rail as one area of cooperation under the SED’s infrastructure working group – one of the five groups that meet under the umbrella of dialogue.

    The previous SED dialogue, which took place in New Delhi in November 2012, had highlighted three areas of rail cooperation: high-speed rail development programme, heavy haul and station development.

    The minutes released on Tuesday, however, referred to “raising speeds of existing routes” instead of high-speed rail. Indian railway officials said Japan had been awarded a contract to carry out a detailed project report into the feasibility of a Mumbai-Vadodara high-speed rail line. Officials denied that security concerns were a factor in leaving China out of India’s high-speed rail plans.

    “There is no such policy decision,” a senior official told Business Line, saying cooperation was possible in the future, depending on how the Japanese proposal went. Arunendra Kumar, Chairman of the Railway Board, said in an interview cost was the biggest factor. High-speed rail will involve building entirely new track, which would also require significant land acquisition, he said.

    Kumar estimated the cost at ₹120 crore per km of track. India is, however, keen to get Chinese expertise in raising the speed on three railway corridors — between New Delhi and Agra, Kanpur and Chandigarh. Chinese officials said they could help raise speed from the current 130 km per hour to 160 or 200 km.

    China has rapidly modernised its rail network, which only three decades ago lagged behind India’s. Express trains run at 200 to 250 km per hour, up from the 110 km per hour speed before a massive modernisation. The Government has also revamped stations to build a network of modern, airport terminal-like rail hubs.

    High speed network

    Indian Railways officials on Wednesday got a first-hand experience of China’s impressive railway network, travelling on a 325 km per hour train between Beijing and Tianjin, from the capital’s sprawling new South Railway station.

    While Japan has a far longer history in building high speed rail lines, China has rapidly developed what is now the world’s largest high-speed rail network, building 13,000 km of entirely newly laid track. Wang Mengshu, a prominent railway and tunnelling expert at Beijing Jiaotong University, who advised the Government on its high-speed rail programme, said land acquisition would not be a major factor for India, as in China, most tracks ran on elevated rails and required “minimal farm land”.

    But Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who chaired Tuesday's SED and met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday, said high-speed rail network may not be cost-effective for India. “In terms of cost effectiveness, we will be the lowest income country to have a high speed rail (network),” he said.

    Cost factor

    “Willingness to pay (may) not (be) that high, and a preference for air will not be easy to get rid of.” In China, however, the Government has defied naysayers: barring one deadly accident, the trains have established an impressive safety record, Wang said. In five years’ time, the high speed rail system has managed to attract twice as many passengers as the entire domestic airline industry, although leaving behind heavy debt.

    For now, India will only be seeking Chinese expertise in heavy haul and in raising speed on its existing rail network, which would require realigning track and strengthening bridges, Ahluwalia said.

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/india-says-no-to-chinese-highspeed-rail/article5806266.ece

     
    INDIAN NATIONALIST and layman like this.
  2. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    These fall out were expected you cant meddle in the nations sovereignty and as well as expect trade to happen.
     
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