Hon’ble Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, the Indian Minister of Railways, visited Seoul from September 9-12, 2015 to participate in the ASEM Symposium on Transport and Logistics Network organised by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Korea Transport Institute. The Minister was accompanied by the Advisor Infrastructure of the Indian Railways Mr. Girish Pillai. Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Mr. Rajnandan Kumar Singh also joined the Indian delegation for the ASEM Symposium.
Speaking at the Ministerial Session of the ASEM Symposium on Sept. 10, the Minister acknowledged it as a perfect platform to discuss challenges being faced today to create an infrastructure and maintain growth which is sustainable and at the same time preserves bio-diversity.
During his visit, Minister Prabhu had a meeting with the Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, H.E. Mr. Yoo Il-ho, and discussed bilateral issues. He extended an invitation to Minister Yoo to visit India with a business delegation to have a first-hand look at the Indian Railways. He also met leaders of Korea Rail Network Authority, Lotte Group, Hyundai Rotem and National Pension Service, during his three-day stay in Seoul. The Minister also had the opportunity to visit Korea Railroad Research Institute and the site visit of under-construction Dongtan Station of Seoul Metropolitan High Speed Railway.
The Indian railways is one of the largest railroad networks in the world, operating under a single organization and covering 66,000 route kilometres. Indian railways run 13,000 passenger and 8,000 freight trains daily. With the demands of the second largest population in the world, it is working to expand the railways capacity substantially and also to modernize the infrastructure. It requires leveraging additional resources by building partnerships. A five year perspective plan has been finalized for modernization which envisions $142 bn for which funding has already been arranged. A further nearly $300 bn planned for the next five years after the first dose of modernisation funding. Foreign Investment is additionally being sought, along with technology.
During his interaction with his Korean counterparts, the visiting Minister mentioned that Korea was a major potential partner for the Indian Railways because of its advanced technology and highly developed railway infrastructure that includes high speed trains. He highlighted India’s plans to expand the railways capacity and enhance safety and also to modernize the infrastructure. He invited the Korean firms to invest in India and be partners in the modernisation projects of the Indian Railways.
September 12, 2015