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    RUSSIAN HEAVY-DUTY TRUCKS TO HIT INDIAN ROADS

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    NEW DELHI, March 20, 2004. (RIA Novosti). -Calcutta, the capital city of India's state of West Bengal, hosted a presentation of Russian Ural heavy-duty trucks on Saturday, Russian Consul General in Calcutta Nikolai Fedyukovich told RIA Novosti in a telephone interview.

    According to him, the event took place in the context of the agreement signed in October 2003 by India's Motijug company and Russia's Uralaz Trading House to set up a joint venture in West Bengal for assembling the Ural trucks.

    Three Russian right-wheel heavy-duty trucks of different modifications were delivered to Calcutta for certification tests and presentation.

    Subhas Chakraborti, the Minister of Transport in the West Bengal Government, attended the presentation of Ural trucks. He pointed out that India lacked vehicles of that class on its roads. "The truck's technical characteristics, particularly, its rough-terrain performance, is very impressive. We badly need such general purpose vehicles; they can be used in various sectors of our economy, including road-building, oil and gas pipeline construction, and transportation of different types of cargo by all kinds of roads, particularly in remote areas known for their tough terrain conditions. These trucks will be indispensable for our armed forces as well," the Minister said.

    Nikolai Fedyukovich told RIA Novosti that on 31 March Russian auto makers would present in New Delhi their trucks to India's military top brass. The trucks will then go on a rough-terrain performance test drive, including a route across a desert in the State of Rajastan.

    On completion of the test drive, the two sides will carry on with setting up the Ural-India Ltd. joint venture. Its head office would be stationed in Calcutta, while construction of the truck assembly facility is to commence shortly in the port town of Khaldia, 110 km off Calcutta, the Russian Consul General pointed out.

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