India is looking forward to take a leaf out of China's impressive road infrastructure and standards for construction and maintenance.
In a major shift towards strengthening ties with China in the road sector, the two countries will sign a key pact for cooperation in the road transportation sector during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing in October end.
The Chinese vice minister of transport is due to visit India in the first week of September to meet his Indian counterpart and firm up the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The broad area where India wants to seek cooperation includes management of road infrastructure technology, standards for road construction and maintenance, and transport policy for passenger and freight movement by road.
India also wants to know more on how China has dealt with contractual issues and financing of highways through public private partnership mode.
So far, only six Chinese companies, that too under joint ventures with Indian companies, are presently involved in building highways. “All six companies have participated and won the bids for the projects,” a road ministry official said.
However, with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), it would be the first time that India would engage with its neighbour in road transportation sector.
Modern system of toll collection and methods of levying toll fee are the other areas where India is keen to take a few tips from China. At 65,000 km China not only has world’s second largest network of expressways but it has about 70% of world’s total length of tolled roads.