New York: An agreement aimed at linking railroad systems of 28 countries in Asia, including India, and Europe goes into effect this week, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)has announced.
The intergovernmental agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TAR) enters into force on 11 June, 90 days after China became the eighth country to have ratified the treaty, ESCAP said.
The other parties to the agreement are Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan and Thailand.
The TAR network comprises 114,000 kilometres of rail routes of international importance, aiming to offer efficient rail transport services for the movement of goods and passengers both within the region and between Asia and Europe.
It will also provide improved access for landlocked countries to major ports, ESCAP said.
The agreement identifies stations of global importance, most of which are located inland and function like ports in coastal areas. These so-called ‘dry ports’ will act as consolidation and distribution centres in the hinterland, spur growth and bring the benefits of economic and social development to a wider population, according to ESCAP.
The new pact is the second to have been developed under the auspices of ESCAP, with the intergovernmental agreement on the Asian Highway Network having entered into force in 2005.