New Delhi: With China planning to build a rail link between Tibet and Nepal, Indian Railways has decided to provide strategic requirement in infrastructure along the border and is working out the details with Defence Ministry.
Dispelling notions that the plans were "against any country", Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today said infrastructure will be provided wherever required.
"Defence Ministry and Railways are working out joint plans to cater to the strategic requirement in infrastructure. The details are being worked out by both the ministries," he said, responding to questions about about China's plans to build a 540-kilometre strategic high-speed rail link between Tibet and Nepal which would pass through a tunnel under Mt Everest.
"The whole idea is not against any country, but the idea is to create infrastructure for our Defence forces wherever they will decide. Railways' job is that if the country needs something for our strategic requirement then we will defintely do it," he said.
Asked about threat perceptions and Railways' focus on the border, Prabhu said it is not his ministry's job. "This is tackled by competent authorities including Defence Ministry, Prime Minister and others and they will decide on the strategic issues."
He also said that India is a country which "cannot attack first. We are not attackers. But we have to defend ourselves. We are not focusing on any country but some countries have focus on us."
The Minister, however, said cooperation with China in rail sector will continue.
Asked about the Bullet train project, Prabhu said India
will have to tie up with countries like France, Japan and China for the technology.
"We want bullet train. But we do not have technology of bullet train at the moment. Some other countries like France, China and Japan have that technology. So we will have to tie up with those countries who have this technology.
"So we are having tie-up with Japan and China on two routes identified for bullet train for studying feasibility. Japan and China are also keen for the project," he said.
While Japan is involved in the fesaibility study for the proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor, China will study the Delhi-Chennai high speed corridor.
On semi-high speed train on Delhi-Agra route, Chairman Railway Board A K Mital said "Clearance from Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS) is awaited. CRS has certain apprehensions and we are trying fencing off the track near dense habitation areas to allay his apprehension. Once that is done we will be able to run the train."