Works on a 12.23 km India-Bangladesh new railway line are going on at a snail’s place in both the countries.
The project was sanctioned around a decade back at an estimated cost of Rs 972 crore.
The new target for completing the project has been re-fixed in September next year.
The Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway line would facilitate ferrying of goods to and from both the countries and greatly benefit India’s land-locked north-eastern states.
Also, the journey time between Agartala and Kolkata, via Bangladesh, would be reduced by a third, from 1,613-km through mountainous terrain to a mere 514 km.
The government-owned IRCON International Limited (IRCON), under the Ministry of Railways, has been executing the project.
The Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Ministry and India’s Ministry External Affairs (MEA) would bear the entire cost of the project on either side.
Notably, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb recently held a meeting with the IRCON officials and engineers led by director (works) Jogesh Mishra and Agartala-Akhaura railway project head Raman Singla and directed them to complete the project at the earliest.
The IRCON official said that on the Indian side, 3.1 km portion of the railway track would be elevated to avoid 26 acres of farm land and habitations.
The IRCON, which has widespread operations in several states in India and in other countries, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Afganistan, U K and Sri Lanka, is now also executing the 86.87 km long Khulna-Mongla rail line project between India and Bangladesh along West Bengal.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is the nodal agency of the Agartala-Akhaura railway project, which was finalized in January 2010 when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met then Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during her visit to New Delhi.