India As India Fast Tracks Its Trains, What It Can Learn From China

04:05  18 april  2017
04:05  18 april  2017 Source:   NDTV

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Quanzhou, China : As one travels from China 's port city of Quanzhou to another port city of Xiamen in China 's southeast Fujian province, one realises the extent of China 's rail ambitions and infrastructure development.

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How can 2 of the fastest growing and largest economies learn from each other to shift the axis of power back to Asia ? China has long been the world’s largest investor in infrastructure, building roads. India can learn this from china . China has opened the world's longest high speed train line.

This is what India needs to learn from China especially while dealing the turbulent relationship with Pakistan. It is what led to its mercurial rise in the exports as ports, roads and railways tracks are of the top most class.

Quanzhou, located south-east of the Fujian province, is right opposite Taiwan and is a 'National Pilot City' which is part of integrated reform agenda of the Chinese leadership under the 'Made In China 2025' model city project. The program has several similarities to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make In India' drive and reform initiative particularly in the railways where India is pushing hard for fast reform.

China's Quanzhou, from where NDTV travelled, has a total rail network of 346 km.

China is also making a strong pitch to sell bullet trains to India which has so far preferred to buy from Japan instead.

Chinese People Institute of Foreign Affairs Vice President Peng Keyu said "We can give India high-speed bullet trains at a much lower rate than Japan even though Japan is considered the best in technology when it comes to these trains."

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On Monday, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off two trains and laid the foundation of a railway facility in different parts of the country through video conferencing. The two new trains from Maharashtra and Visakhapatnam will have features such as glass roof, LED lights, revolving seats, GPS based information system, he said.

New coaches on the Indian Railways trains will have glass roofs, revolving seats and GPS-based information systems.

But as India hopes to widen its rail network to make it more technology-driven and introduce high speed trains, it is far behind China, especially in the cleanliness factor at stations and on tracks - something the PM has spoken about at length.

It is also a reluctant shopper from China although an affiliated company of China's top train-maker CRCC Corporation has acquired a subway train order in Nagpur. It will produce a total of 69 coaches. The agreement signed on March 27 also includes a 10-year maintenance contract. China is also making some coaches for subways in Kolkata. India is an important potential market for Chinese train makers.

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China has trains originating from Quanzhou's high speed rail station all the way to Beijing in the north.

The World Bank in 2014 said that the potential benefits of high speed train were "very substantial" and could boost productivity in China's coastal region by 10 per cent. The Chinese believe it will create a deeply connected economy especially for those who work in expensive cities and can now live in satellite cities around industrial and commercial hubs and commute in less than half an hour through bullet trains.

However, not the entire picture is as rosy. China Railway Corporation, the state-owned operator of the train system has debts of more than 4 trillion yuan or 580 billion dollars. Also, the operating cost of these trains in smaller distances is high. But as we move along the rail line from one city to another, there is simultaneous growth of industry and housing and infrastructure along the high speed trains that may justify the costs.

Railway station where PM Narendra Modi sold tea gets Rs 8 crore for facelift .
The Vadnagar railway station in Gujarat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to sell tea during his childhood, is to get a facelift worth Rs 8 crore.Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi had often mentioned that he used to sell tea during his childhood at the Vadnagar railway station along with his father. Vadnagar town is also the birthplace of Modi. Giving further details about the project, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Ahmedabad division, Dinesh Kumar said the entire project of developing Vadnagar and adjoining places in Mehsana district would cost over Rs 100 crore.

Source: http://uk.pressfrom.com/news/world/india/-143488-as-india-fast-tracks-its-trains-what-it-can-learn-from-china/

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