China’s apathy puts brakes on Chennai-Mysuru high-speed rail

New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 15, 2017

Railway officials feel the Doklam stand-off may be the cause

An ambitious high-speed train project in south India has been delayed after Chinese railways, which completed a feasibility study a year ago, did not respond, railway officials have said, suggesting that the “lack of response” may be due to the Doklam stand-off.

An internal brief of the Mobility Directorate on the status of nine high-speed projects of the Railways, accessed by PTI, shows that the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore corridor, a 492-km stretch, is in limbo because the Chinese railways has failed to respond to the Ministry’s communiques.

“The Chinese company submitted the final report in November 2016 and after that the Chinese team has suggested a face-to-face interaction. No date has been fixed from their side,” said the note prepared by the Mobility Directorate.

On the reason for the delay, the brief states — “lack of response” from Chinese railways.

The brief also states that the feasibility study by the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co Ltd (CREEC) was submitted to the Railway Board in November 2016 and after that the Chinese company had sought meetings with officials of the Board.

However, officials say that the Board has been unable to get in touch with officials of CREEC despite repeated communications sent to them via mails in the last six months.

“We have even tried to get in touch with them through their Embassy here, but we are yet to hear from them,” said an official.

The Ministry officials said that it was the stand-off between the two countries in Bhutan’s Doklam area between June 16 and August 28 this year that seems to have derailed the project.

An email to the Chinese Embassy by PTI on the issue did not elicit any response.

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Published on October 15, 2017
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