Japan to assist railway safety in India

Japan will offer railway safety technology to India, where fatal train accidents are frequent. Each year India has nearly 100 train accidents, which are blamed on dilapidated railway facilities and poor safety measures. Accidents have claimed more than 560 lives over the past 5 years.

On Tuesday, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, and India’s Ministry of Railways signed a safety cooperation agreement in New Delhi. Under the agreement, JICA will send experts to India and invite Indian engineers to Japan, where they will learn about welding and car maintenance. JICA will also aim to support India’s body in charge of railway safety.

India plans to begin service of a high-speed rail system based on Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train technology in 2023. But many Indians want existing train services to be made safer before the introduction of a high-speed rail system.

Ministry official Sushant Mishra noted that because local trains will continue to be the most important means of transport for the majority of Indians, he would like to bring Japan’s culture of safety into this area of service.

The head of JICA’s office in India, Katsuo Matsumoto, stressed that training personnel to make local trains safe will also help make the Japan-assisted high-speed rail service safe.

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