India to put Makkah-Medina high speed railway on track
- Makkah and Medina, two of the Islam’s holiest cities will now have an Indian association.
- Saudi Arabia is planning to construct the High Speed Railway lines to connect the cities of Makkah and Medina. Workforce from India will be deployed for working on this Haramain Project. Indian companies will supply the rails for tracks.
- Till now, biggest crude supplier of India is Saudi Arabia. Now, they have decided to employ Indian laborers for the railway construction projects.
- There are a couple of operational hiccups. India’s request for more extra light crude has been turned down by Saudi Petro Giant, ARAMCO. Credit facilities to Indian Public Sector Oil Companies is also been lifted. However, the plan to go ahead with using Indian workforce on their projects has still remained constant.
- Cooperation between Saudi Arabia and India is a major development in defense, especially because now they have stopped observing their defense ties and security in binary terms, which is choosing between Pakistan and India.
- There was two-side agreement on defense MoU signed up, when Indian Defense Minister, A.K. Antony visited Riyadh in 2012. It was the expected by New Delhi to further discuss this with the Crown Prince, who is also the Saudi Defense Minister. He is known to be a consensus builder in Riyadh’s power corridors.
- Indian sights are now set up on railways. Saudi Arabia will also proceed with their railway network extension plans for the next 30 years. In addition to the mega contract sign up by L&T on parts of the Riyadh Metro project, there are many new business options worth about $100 billion opening up.
- Indian officials admit that normally it is the Chinese who are preferred for most of the international tendering of heavy duty projects. However, since this project involves concentrated labor and hauling of heavy trains, it is expected that Indian companies will get the preference. Also, since Indians have been working in the gulf countries for decades now, they are socially and culturally well matched to work with people from the Middle East, in comparison to Chinese.
- The assurance from second most powerful Royal to start oil refining projects in various cities across the Indian coastline Mangalore, Dahej, Paradip, Ennore and Kochi is also working in favor of India. Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy country, and they could become the source of investment to India. In the past, they have also made investments in Citi Bank and Four Seasons Hotel.
- India Saudi Arabia relations