The process of laying the 15.054 km long railway tracks to connect Agartala with Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed in two and half years, an official at the Ministry of External Affairs said in Agartala on Wednesday. “Of the total track, a stretch of five km will be on the Indian side and the rest in Bangladesh. The project would be completed in two and half years,” MEA Joint Secretary A K Gupte told reporters here.
The total project cost, Rs 972.52 crore, would be borne by the government of India, he said adding the Indian side was being funded by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region while the MEA is financing it for the Bangladesh side.
The fifth meeting of the Project Steering Committee comprising officials of Bangladesh and India was held.
A eight-member team of Bangladesh led by Additional Secretary of Roads and Railway, Sashi Singh and a ten-member delegation of India led by Gupte participated in the meeting.
Officials said, acquisition of lands on the Indian side has already been started.
New Delhi is keen to establish the rail link which will connect West Bengal and Tripura through Bangladesh. The Agartala-Akhaura railway route will connect Indian Railways with Bangladesh Railways to improve connectivity and boost trade between the two countries.
The neighbouring country has agreed to lay the tracks between Akhaura and Agartala during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January 2010.