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Govt asks France to ‘open shops’ in India for railway projects

‘There are multiple areas in rail sector where we can work together and in those areas we can hope for co-operation between France and India,’ Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said while addressing Indo-French Rail seminar here.

Wooing French companies to set shops in India, Prabhu said, ‘Let’s find solutions and prepare completely actionable areas supported by corporate entities and set up shops here...then we can always work together to make it happen.’

The Minister said that the Government is willing to work with with French companies and is trying to remove inhibitions that doing business in India is a challenge.

‘Once we work on it you will realise that doing business in India is not that cumbersome.

‘Solution to every problem is possible. We can work together. But for that you must come here first. You can have seminars and go back to France then nothing will happen. You have to come here to stay and make sure we work together,’ Prabhu said.

The Railway Minister sought co-operation in areas of safety, customer service, improving communication network, and building high-speed train network.

Prabhu said safety is an ‘inherent obligation’ and of paramount importance. ‘No one can compromise safety of any kind in the interest of commuters who board the train and want to reach their destinations safely,’ he said.

The Minister sought France’s co-operation in providing better services to customers to make their travel easier.

‘How to make the platform look better, how to make tickets bookings become smoother and improve communication network can for commuters through various technology. So at all these levels you can think of some co-operation,’ Prabhu said.

He added that as a commuter spends maximum time in a rail compartment, efforts need to be made to upgrade that service and make it more comfortable.

The Minister also put forth a possibility of collaboration in developing high-speed train network in the country.

‘There are also some premium commuters who are ready to pay a high price and want to reach their destination faster. They want better amenities and they are ready to pay for it.

Those who have ability to pay we are thinking of a separate kind network such as a speed train or bullet train,’ Prabhu said.
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