Railways bag mega project in Malaysia

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) IRCON International Ltd, a PSU of the Railway Ministry, today signed a major deal with Malaysia for electrification of double track between Seremban and Gemas, which would involve an estimated expenditure of one billion US dollars.

The singing ceremony and the award of contract to IRCON for this mega project was signed in presence of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who is currently in Malaysia, and the Malaysian Minister of Transport Datuk Ong Tee Keat in Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prasad pointed out that the project would be completed within 48 months and involve construction of 34 river bridges, 107 small bridges and one 8-km long tunnel.

In the first phase of this project, the work up to Sangai Gaddud will be completed by July 2010.

''The award of this contract to IRCON is an important achievement in the bilateral cooperation in the field of infrastructure,'' he said.

Indian Railways' presence in Malaysia dates back to 1988 with IRCON executing the rehabilitation of railway track from Paloh to Singapore and Slim River to Seremban. Since then, IRCON has commissioned 11 major railway projects, which included 441 km of track rehabilitation and construction 200 km of new track.

Besides, IRCON is having a contract for leasing of locomotives to Malaysian Railways for the past few years, which is being extended on a yearly basis.

Earlier, addressing a gathering at a reception hosted by Bharat Club (Association of Expatriate Indians in Malaysia) and Consortium of Indian Industries, Mr Prasad said Indian Railways had taken an initiative to encourage Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the non-core sector.

''Indian Railways need Rs. 80,000 crore for the completion of its ongoing projects. Important projects like upgradation of 26 railway stations to world-class level and Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors need a huge financial and technical investment which can be done through PPP model,'' he said.

The minister also invited Bharat Club and Consortium of Indian Industries in Malaysia to participate in important non-core railway projects like construction of logistic parks, wagon investment scheme, wagon leasing scheme and setting up of agricultural outlets at more than 7000 railway stations, setting up of new factories for production of wagons, coaches and locomotives as well as construction of Dedicated Freight Corridors.

Describing his meeting with Mr. Keat was fruitful, he said both sides agreed to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in the field of railway infrastructure.

UNI SKS MIR NS2006

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