After the heart wrenching train accident in Uttar Pradesh, India that left 146 people dead, the Chinese state run media on Tuesday said, that China could help India upgrade its poor railway infrastructure. This could take place provided of course, that the Indian government is amenable to Chinese investments in the sector.
According to Chinese tabloid, Global Times, the accident could have been caused by a fracture in the track and that accidents were common on “India’s dilapidated rail network”. It should be mentioned that Global Times is state run and its views are usually taken to reflect opinions held by the communist regime of the country.
While pointing out the limitations of the Indian railway, the tabloid went on to say that trains are the most popular mode of long-distance transport for locals in India, but this sector has long been suffering from underinvestment. This is just one area where China could step in to plug the gaps with investments and advanced technologies.
According to writer Hu Weijia,
China is fairly experienced in financing and developing railway technology, which can perhaps be used as a reference for speeding up construction in the south Asian country. Some east African countries, including Tanzania, are reportedly tending to adopt a “Chinese model” for the development of their rail systems, so why not India.
The article advocated direct infusion of Chinese money into the railway sector in India and pointed out that the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) could lead the way.
The tabloid also suggested that after the Indore-Patna Express derailment, India and China should speed up cooperation in infrastructure so that China can provide direct support for upgrading India’s railways.
Well, India and China are both aware that there is a pretty huge potential for collaboration in sharing and adopting railway technologies. The countries have discussed collaboration in the railway sector earlier as well, but unfortunately, none of the discussions have managed to yield any fruitful results.
China is of course one of the pioneers of implementing innovating technologies and infrastructural breakthroughs into its railways. The country’s successful railway technology is comparable with developed countries and the costs are also comparatively lower. China has also supplied subway trains, engines and other equipment to the Indian market.
As such, a collaboration over railways that could potentially prevent such unfortunate accidents, would be just the way to go forward. Not to mention that such a gesture could also help mend ties between the oft quibbling neighbors. Which also makes us wonder: Is the dragon actually extending a helping hand to India through its offer of investments and technology to the Indian railways?