NEW DELHI, Sept 12: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today disclosed that train to Bangladesh from Tripura will start by 2020.
He shared this information when Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das called on him in the presence of Secretary DoNER Inderjit Singh and senior officers of the Ministry.
During the meeting, the Agartala-Akhaura Railway Link (Bangladesh) project was discussed in detail, among other issues. It was discussed that the project will be completed by the year 2020.
The cost of the project is Rs 972.52 crores, which is being funded by Ministry of Northeast DoNER on the Indian side and by MEA on the Bangladesh side. The project will link Agartala with Bangladesh Railway Network at Akhaura. Once operational, it will cut the travel time for passenger and goods movement between Kolkata and Agartala. The Indian sided length is 5.46 km and Bangladesh side is 6.57 km. IRCON, CPSE of Railways is the executing agency for the Indian side and also Project Management Consultant for Bangladesh Railways.
Once operational, it will cut travel time of rail journey from Kolkata to Agartala (via Guwahati) of 38 hours and 1500 km to 15 hours and 500 kms. Maitree Express is already running between Kolkata and Dhaka which can be extended to Agartala. Out of 15.19 Acre of land to be acquired at Nischintpur Yard, 2.30 Acre has been handed over and balance is expected to be handed over within a month and not later than December, 2019 by Government of Tripura.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that cultural linkages with Bangladesh are very important. He said that tourism, trade and cultural exchange between the two countries should be promoted.