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India to collaborate with Germany to improve rail connectivity of ports


In a move that could give a boost to the country’s logistics sector and exports, Germany and India have agreed to collaborate on projects for improving rail connectivity of Indian ports. The two countries will reportedly work together on projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore being implemented by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL).

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, held detailed discussions with his German counterpart and Infrastructure Minister Alexander Dobrindt and his delegation in New Delhi on Friday, regarding the modalities for such collaboration. Secretary Shipping Rajive Kumar, Secretary Road Transport & Highways Sanjay Mitra and other senior officers of the two ministries were also present. 

This meeting comes under the backdrop of an MoU signed between Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL) and the German Railways Deutsche Bahn (DB) for cooperation on modernisation of rail port connectivity and port rail facilities of Indian ports, during the Maritime India Summit earlier this year. For efficient evacuation of cargo from the ports and to reduce logistics cost, last mile rail connectivity of ports is extremely important. Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd has been set up specifically to work in this area. 

It was proposed in the meeting to form groups with representatives of IPRCL and DB to identify areas of cooperation and potential projects, as also to identify cost effective new rail technologies that can be implemented. This would help bring in foreign investment and cost effective, environment friendly, innovative technology for the port rail connectivity projects. 

Gadkari has also urged Germany to cooperate in the development of inland waterways, including manufacturing of barges. 

Two sides also held discussions on cooperation for developing vehicle scrapping capacity in India, wherein Germany can share environment friendly technology for scrapping of old vehicles and also for processing of the waste thus generated. 

In what may be a major step towards reducing pollution, India has put in place all required regulations for the use of flex-fuel like ethanol mixed with petrol. Gadkari said that German automobile manufacturers can be called upon to produce cars that can run on flex-fuel for India, like the ones being produced in Canada and USA. 

Source: Live Mint 

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