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India has called for all projects with Zimbabwe that are in the pipeline to be operationalised to strengthen flourishing bilateral relations between the two countries.

Speaking after paying a courtesy call on Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare yesterday, acting Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Rakshpavl Malhotra said it was time co-operation between the two countries delivered tangible results.

“I just appraised him of how the relationship between two friendly countries, India and Zimbabwe, is progressing,” he said.

“Traditionally, the relationship has been cordial and friendly. There is a lot we can do together and we look forward to more co-operative work from both sides.”

Mr Malhotra said India was engaged in capacity building and human resource development efforts in Zimbabwe to cement the existing partnership in infrastructural projects.

“Under these schemes, India is sending about 200 Zimbabwe nationals to India for various training courses,” he said.

“India is also in the process of setting up a few capacity building institutions in rural areas like the food testing laboratory, a vocational training centre and a rural technology park. India of late has come to partner Zimbabwe in its infrastructural projects and we have a line of credit worth $28,6 million from the Eximbank of India for Deka pumping station and a water intake system.”

The Deka pump station on the Zambezi River and the 42-kilometre water pipeline is expected to enhance water supply to the Hwange Thermal Power Station.

Mr Malhotra added: “Another two agreements have been signed by Eximbank of India, one with the Ministry of Finance for the supply of 500 workers to Ministry of Tourism and other departments. This facility is worth of $49 million.

“The second agreement is for the supply of mining machinery to Hwange Colliery and that is a line of credit worth $13 million. There are quite a few others in the pipeline.”

On the operationalisation of the Essar deal, Mr Malhotra said he “hoped for the best.”

“It is very difficult for me to say, but we are hoping that it is implemented sooner rather than later,” he said.

Source : The Herald