As part of steps to protect the environment, the state government is planning to introduce eco-friendly urban electric vehicles and trolley buses in the city soon. Some companies from Belarus have expressed interest in the manufacture and supply of such vehicles. At a press conference organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Mr Andrei I Rzheussky, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary embassy of the Republic of Belarus in India said: “We want to be not only friends, but are also willing to become partners.”

He added: “The embassy will also provide space, time, expertise and market information to the Belarusian and Indian business community for the bilateral trade and business to prosper.” Mr Sitaram Sharma, president of Bharat Chamber of Commerce, said that the Bengal government is planning to introduce eco-friendly urban electric vehicles and trolley buses in Kolkata soon. Mr Sharma added: “The trolley buses manufactured by the Belarus companies are customised for Indian roads and have quick charging features.”

He further informed that Belarus may also participate in the Bengal government’s endeavour to modernise the tramways. He said: “A technical team from Belarus is likely to visit Kolkata to study technical and operational modernisation possibilities of the Calcutta tramways.” Complementing Belarus’s efforts in environment conservation, Mr Sharma said that Belarus’s partnership may be needed for India to control pollution in its cities. The partnership between the two countries will strengthen Eastern India’s pharmaceutical sector through technical know-how from Belarus, he said.

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Belas, a company in Belarus and Coal India for the export of mining equipments and trucks while another MoU was signed with Jadavpur University (JU) and Calcutta University (CU) for collaboration in the education sector.