India-Bangladesh railway line
Representative image.

The ongoing construction work of the railway line project, connecting Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura in Bangladesh, is expected to be completed by December this year.

A media report quoted a senior official as saying that the 15.6-km-long railway link will connect Gangasagar in Bangladesh with Nischintapur in India and Nischintapur railway station with Agartala station.

The incoming goods will also be offloaded at Nischintapur.

Nischintapur has a trans-shipment yard and the railway passengers coming from Bangladesh will be deboarded there.

This is a Rs 980 crore project and the work on the Indian side has already been completed, the official said.

“Work on the Indian side has already been completed. The work on the Bangladesh side was stopped due to the COVID-related lockdown, but it will resume from Monday,” the report quoted Raman Singla, deputy chief engineer of IRCON International Ltd, as saying.

Also read: Rail, road, waterway links being developed with Bangladesh: CM Biplab Deb

IRCON International is the executing agency for the construction of the railway project on both sides.

“The entire project would be completed by December this year,” the official said.

The Union DoNER ministry is bearing the cost for laying the track on the 5.46 km link on the Indian side.

The cost of laying the 10.6-km-long track on the Bangladesh side is being borne by the Ministry of External Affairs, the official said.

India and Bangladesh recently resumed the operation of freight trains through the restored Haldibari-Chilahati route boosting the railway connectivity between the two countries.

For the movement of passenger and freight trains, the rail link was reopened by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh on December 17 last year.

On August 1, 2021, the Indian Railways ran the first freight train loaded with stones from Damdim railway station under Northeast Frontier Railway’s jurisdiction for Bangladesh.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday said the Centre, following the persuasions of the state government, has been developing rail, road and waterway connectivity with neighbouring Bangladesh to boost the economy of the Northeastern state.

“The Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) rail link is under construction to facilitate transportation of goods between the two countries and the rail project is expected to be completed by next year. Waterway connectivity is being developed between Tripura and Bangladesh,” chief minister Deb said.

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