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Policies containing solutions

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

The parliament is discussing a draft resolution submitted by the government about some measures to include in railway policy implementation. According to the resolution, new 1,435 mm narrow gauge track will be laid for routes from Tavantolgoi to Gashuunsukhait, Sainshand to Zamiin-Uud, and Khoot to Bichigt, and new 1,520 mm broad gauge track for routes from Arts Suuri to Erdenet, the Tavantolgoi-Sainshand-Baruun-Urt – Khoot-Choibalsan route, and from Khoot to Nomrog. This became a big issue on social media. The dispute about using mixed track gauges has continued for around six years. Despite the general resolution to include broad gauge track in the railway policy, the government made an amendment specifying that the government must present the parliament with a proposal to change the width of gauges on railway routes from mineral processing plants to border points.
A coalition government of the DP and MPP was established from 2008 to 2012. The broad gauge decision was one of the biggest joint decisions they made. When the policy was first approved, a 1,100 km track from Tavantolgoi to Choibalsan was to be built, for starters, followed by a 45.5 km track from Nariin Sukhait mine to Shiveekh uren border point, 267 km track from Ukhaakhudag to Gashuunsukhait border point, 380 km track for the Khoot-Tamsagbulag-Numrug route, and a 200 km track from Khuut to Bichigt. The boast to build the first 1,100 km track within two years became an empty promise. As a result of the constant disagreement over the last six years, they haven’t built even one meter of track. They’re planning to finish the 267 km track from Ukhaakhudag to Gashuunsukhait this year, and the technical blueprints for the Tavantolgoi-Sainshand-Khuut-Choibalsan-Ereentsav route and Khoot to Bichigt route are at 85 percent completion. This is how our railway projects are progressing.

Commotion, not gauge width, will affect national security

Mongolian viewers watched a television program where the Former Minister of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development, Kh.Battulga, and other industry representatives explained why narrow gauges are safer and more beneficial. The televised discussion lasted for several days. Viewers mainly got the message that Mongolia would be taken over by China if a railway track with narrow gauge was built in the south. It’s reported that the majority of the public took this poorly, as independence is the most valuable aspect of a country. Also, it triggered nationalists and started a huge commotion among the people. The show gave people the impression that narrow gauge threatens national security. Some people think it’s naive to think that Chinese people will come flooding in to Mongolia and take over the country as soon as the railway is erected. Contrarily, the public commotion may threaten national security instead of the railway issue.
The main market for Mongolian coal exportation is China. The government calculated that Mongolia will save on transshipment facility costs and profit if a narrow gauge for direct coal exportation to China from mines is built. Also, narrow gauge is consistent with international standards, meaning that Mongolia can utilize it to connect with other countries. As soon as the TV show aired and began debate among the people, the government issued a statement saying, “We’re officially announcing that we’re taking decisive measures to address law enforcement agencies regarding this matter, since this show had content that may harm Mongolia’s relations with our two neighboring countries, economic independence, and the national security of Mongolia.”
Let’s stop the commotion and get to work

The government submitted a draft resolution within the frameworks of the policy approved by the parliament. Despite all the criticism it brought, the draft resolution was still included in the policy. If Mongolia didn’t have the tradition of public dispute surrounding gauge issues for the last six years, we would’ve already built the railway and seen its economic benefits. Therefore, some people are supporting the idea to stop the dispute and start encouraging the implementation of the railway policy approved by the parliament in 2010. It’s time to persuade people to execute domestic projects and stop the provocation. Neither an individual nor a political party’s interest is more valuable than the prosperity of the country. It’s prudent to pay more attention to providing more opportunities for the government to work and improve security.

Source: Unuudur http://www.mongolnews.mn/p/53097

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=10277

Posted by on Jun 27 2014. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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