New Delhi: In a significant manifestation of New Delhi's Neighbourhood First policy, India on Monday handed over the 18th diesel electric locomotive to Myanmar, thereby completing the first project under the current Indian line of credit (LoC) to the eastern neighbour.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Railways, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain attended the formal handing over ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw of 18th AC-DC 1350 HP diesel electric locomotive to Myanmar Railways, supplied by RITES and manufactured by Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi.
"These 18 locomotives are fitted with micro-processor control based system," the statement said, adding that the engines, with a maximum speed of 100 kmph, have been customised for Myanmar Railways.
Most of these supplies in the railway sector have been carried out under the Indian LoC.
"As per the agreement schedule, all locomotives were to be delivered by September 2018. They have been delivered six months ahead of the schedule," the statement said.
Thanking the Indian Embassy in Myanmar for their coordination and assistance with the Myanmar authorities in the facilitation of the project, Gohain said that "this association will help strengthen friendly border relations with India".
Myanmar's Minister of Transportation and Communication U Thant Sin Moung held that the valued cordial relationship between the two countries can go beyond the present interaction.
"He showed keen interest in the training programmes offered by the Indian Railways and on the signaling and telecommunication systems," the statement said.
This project can also be seen as being in tune with New Delhi's efforts at connectivity with southeast Asia under its Act East Policy.
Major India-Myanmar cooperation projects in this regard include the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and the maintenace of the deep-water port at Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar's trouble-torn Rakhine State, and the road from Paletwa to Zorinpui on the border of India's northeastern state of Mizoram.
Both the port and road are parts of the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit and Transport Project being developed by India, which is aimed at reducing the need to transport goods between northeastern India and the rest of India through the narrow Siliguri corridor
Other key projects include Rhi-Tiddim road project and the project to build 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa road of the trilateral highway.