India and Italy have entered into an agreement whereby the European country will provide technical assistance to enhance the level of Indian railway passengers' safety.
The Ministry of Railways entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday with the Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane (FS Italian Railways).
The agreement which was announced on Thursday was signed by Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mittal and FS Italian Railways' Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Renato Mazzoncini here.
"We will provide all the know-how we developed with large scale infrastructure and technological projects that have modernised Italy by connecting the country's most important cities, Rome and Milan, in just three hours," Mazzoncini said at a conference held here.
"We are going to address the safety issues with the help of technology."
The MoU comes in the backdrop of the emphasis given by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on safety in railway operations. Prabhu has directed the Railway Board to collaborate with the international experts on this subject and identify the best practices in this field.
Mazzoncini informed that they have entered into a second MoU with the Ministry of Railways to co-operate on joint projects through their respective engineering companies — Italferr and Rites.
"This MoU is a major strategic opportunity for Italferr," noted Carlo Carganico, Chief Executive of Italferr.
Elaborating on their presence in India, Mazzoncini said: "Currently, we are working on six projects in India, which includes the design and supervision of works for constructing the Anji Khad Bridge between Katra and Raesi in Jammu and Kashmir."
Asked about the design of the bridge on the Anji river in Kashmir, Mazzoncini said: "We have made a prototype of the bridge and we are hopeful that the design of the bridge would be finalised in a month or two."
Anji Khad Bridge on the Katra-Banihal Section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir is 750 meters long. The bridge is suspended over a 200 meter gorge between Katra and Raesi.
In addition to work on the Anji Khad Bridge, the FS Italiane is managing the project for the development of two lines under the Mumbai Metro Rail Project.
"In the coming (time) it (the company) will collaborate in some sections of the eastern DFCC (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation) freight corridor," Mazzoncini said.
The FS Italiane added that it might also share a specialised software with Indian railways to avoid collisions in foggy conditions.