New Delhi,14 May:In the presence of the Minister of State for Railways, Shri Naranbhai Rathwa and the visiting Minister of State for Transport, Government of France, Mr. Dominique Bussereau, an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Shri R.K. Goyal, Addl. Member Planning, Indian Railway Board and Mr. Jean-Pierre Lubinox, Chairman & Managing Director, SNCF International (French Railways) for promoting bi-lateral cooperation in the Railway sector, here today.Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rathwa said that India and France cooperate in a number of spheres and there are a number of areas where Indian Railways can benefit by cooperation with the French Railways. He said that Indian Railways have an ambitious plan of network expansion, increase in rolling stock production capacity, world-class passenger terminals and in future country requires high speed passenger services also. This MoU will further promote cooperation and be of a benefit to Indian Railways and also to the French Railways, said Shri Rathwa.
The French Minister of State for Transport, Mr Bussereau said that France is interested in forging ties with Indian Railways in specific areas like freight corridor, safety telecommunications, rolling stocks, locomotives and rakes and high speed train. He said that Railways will be the future mode of transport in the face of Global warming as it is fuel efficient and environment friendly mode of transport.
Shri K.C.Jena, Chairman, Railway Board, said that the railway industry in France is also very well developed and French companies do considerable business in India. He said Indian Railways have MoUs with the railways of Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Africa and China. He said that the MoU with French Railways will be very useful vehicle for cooperation. .
Under the MoU, a Steering committee composed of two representatives of each country will be set up which will meet alternatively in Paris and in India on a time scale to be agreed to by mutual consent of both the countries. The first meeting of Steering Committee will mainly take up various issues for strengthening and promoting technical cooperation between the two countries. The areas of cooperation include line capacity, safety, maintenance and upgrading of tracks and structures, signaling, telecommunications, power supply, electric or diesel traction stock, information technology, training, high speed rail projects and regional and urban development.
The 23-member French delegation was headed by Mr. Jean-Pierre Lubinox, Chairman & Managing Director, SNCF International (French Railways) and 16-member Indian delegation including Board Members was headed by Shri K.C. Jena, Chairman, Railway Board. Also present on the occasion was French Ambassador in India, Mr. Jerome Bonnafont among others