India Rail Tech, first-ever dedicated railways fair, begins tomorrow

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New Delhi, Sep 19 (UNI) Spurred by the Railways' exciting modernisation drive, over a hundred companies from India and abroad, including Siemens, Larsen and Toubro and Jindal Steel and Power, will showcase their high-end technologies at a three-day India Rail Tech that gets underway here tomorrow.

Billed as the first ever focussed and dedicated trade fair on Indian Railways, the exhibition will provide a platform to the participating companies to display showcase their products, services and abilities to Indian Railways with latest technologies and cost-effective solutions.

Organised by the Bangalore-based Expoworld, the event is aimed at catalysing the Railway Ministry's ambitious modernisation plan over the next five years, which is pegged at a stupendous Rs one lakh crores.

''It is a gigantic investment plan by any yardstick and the companies will be keen to grab a major slice of this ambitious modernisation investment,'' said Mr Sandeep Bekal, Convenor of India Rail Tech exhibition.

After financial turnaround, the Railways is poised for a technological turnaround. With its cash register ringing and era of loss a matter of past, the Railways had accorded priority to investment for modernisation and upgradation of its infrastructure.

''The world over, the Railways have been a backbone and an engine of growth of the economy. It is in the interest of the nation to modernise Railways so that the efficiencies in the economy go up, thereby having an all round cascading positive effect,'' he said.

Mr Bekal said the developing nations have their own dedicated railway exhibitions.

''We are organising this first-ever dedicated show on railways in India and we feel it is being held at the right time as the Indian Railways is poised for a big leap and is in the process of taking critical decisions,'' he said.

Besides a large Indian participation, Japanese, Russian and German companies are to register their presence in a big way.

Mr Bekal said India Rail Tech is likely to attract over 12,000 railway professionals and officials from the ministry, Metro Rail, Rail Vikas Nigam and railway production units.

He said the exhibition would be held annually for a mutually beneficial interface between the industry and the railways. ''This will also be in tune with Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's plans to provide world class facilities to customers and fulfill the goal of making Indian Railways the best railway system in the world.'' Mr Prasad has invited private players to participate in its modernisation plan over the next five years through the PPP route and make it the 'numero uno' transport system in the world.

Plans like construction of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) on the eastern and western routes, modernisation of stations, setting up of logistics parks and agri outlets at 7000 stations are some of the areas for investment through the the PPP route.

In addition, modernisation of railway signalling, track and rolling stock to provide top rate facilities and services to passengers and freight customers at low prices are the plans, which offer enormous opportunities to private players for investment.

With visitors from the US, Indonesia, Senegal, Bangladesh and other SAARC Countries, the Rail Tech 2007 will provide important business opportunities and may also offer some of the splendid marketing bids in the railway sector.

UNI

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