New Delhi: The government of India is committed to the development of inter-country rail linkages and in furtherance of this policy supports the development of Trans-Asian Railway Network, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said in New Delhi on Monday. This network would provide a major land corridor for transport of people and goods across the frontiers of the member countries, Bansal said while speaking at the 7th meeting of Railways of South and South East Asian Countries.
Bansal said that one of the important key objectives of the Government of India is to assist the neighbouring countries to develop their rail infrastructure and credit facilities have been extended to some of these countries. He said one of India's initiatives is to provide a gratis training programme for the railway personnel from the member countries. He announced that in keeping with the wishes of the member countries, the Government of India has decided to extend this programme for a further period of five years. The Railway Minister further said that Indian Railways have thrown open its Research Development and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for joint research projects involving the railways of the region.
Bansal emphasised that regional cooperation and trade is a beneficial mode of economic development and Railways have a great advantage of being socially the most benign mode of transport. In his speech Chairman Indian Railway Board Vinay Mittal said that the annual meetings of railways of South and South-East Asia have provided an effective forum for sharing experiences and for launching important cooperative initiatives in the rail sector.