Friday, March 9, 2007

Now all they need is an orchestra

The Indian government just ratified an intergovernmental agreement that envisions a trans-Asian railway network; along one corridor, India would be connected to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and China; along the other, it would be connected to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

The timeline, as yet, seems unclear, and this may all prove to be a pipe dream -- indeed, by all accounts, this project was first envisaged in the 1960s. However, this does seem a positive development, and rail enthusiasts (such as myself -- longest train trip thus far has been three days, from Delhi to Kerala, but I'm itching to hit the Trans-Siberian Railway and ride the rails in China) should be eagerly anticipating its construction.

What with at least two huge bombings of trains (on the Mumbai passenger rails and on the Samjhauta Express to Pakistan) in India in the last year, one would hope that some sort of statement on preventing terrorism &c. is forthcoming. How does one balance the increasing need for connectivity when regional politics are somewhat unstable? ...

... And, furthermore, should I really be wringing my hands over a PR announcement that will likely amount to a hill of beans?

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