Make way for CBM Express
They want to call it the 'CBM' Express. With six bogies each from India and Pakistan, it will showcase applied research in areas touching the 'aam aadmi' on either side of the border.
The guiding sentiment behind the idea is to promote scientific exchanges on disaster management, protecting drinking water resources and increasing farm productivity. The project, which was conceived by science and technology minister Kapil Sibal, now has the backing of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Indian side can moot the proposal this week itself at the meeting in Islamabad of the working group on S&T under the Indo-Pak Joint Commission. A joint secretary in Sibal's ministry, Y R Kumar, is part of the delegation that left for Pakistan on Monday.
"Can there be a better CBM than Pakistani and Indian farmers securing higher per hectare yields using technology, trans-genics and hybrid seed varieties from the other country?" asked an official.
Indeed, confidence building between the two neighbours has to move beyond buses and trains transporting people. The nitty-gritty of the Indian proposal would be worked out once Pakistan is on board. The purpose broadly is to take technology to the people through printed literature, power presentations and increased interaction between the scientific fraternities of the two countries. "Each bogie will deal with a theme common to the sub-continent.
Technicians on board the train would brief their audience on benefits of sharing applied technologies," the official said.