Funds for land acquisition of Agartala-Akhaura railway project soon

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The rail link will connect West Bengal and Tripura through Bangladesh

Funds for acquisition of land for the Agartala-Akhaura rail project to link Indian Railways with Bangladesh Railways, will soon be released by the DoNER ministry, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said today.

“The PMO has recently made an assessment of the project and directed the DoNER ministry to release funds for land acquisition and construction of roads along the tracks up to the Indo-Bangla border and laying of tracks on the Indian side. We are now waiting for the detailed project report,” Mr. Singh told reporters after meeting Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

DoNER has already sanctioned Rs. 580 crores for the project, he said adding the Ministry has asked Railway Board to fulfill the formalities for it.

The process of laying the15,054 km long railway tracks to connect Agartala with Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed by 2017. Of the total track 5 km would be on Indian side and the rest in Bangladesh.

A flyover of 3.7 km would be constructed on the Indian side to save cultivable lands and the entire project cost would be borne by the government, he said.

New Delhi is keen to establish the rail link as it would connect West Bengal and Tripura through Bangladesh. During Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January 2010, the two neighbours had agreed to lay the tracks between Akhaura and Agartala.

The Agartala-Akhaura railway route would connect Indian Railways with Bangladesh Railways which would improve connectivity and boost trade between the two countries.

Also the 1,700 km distance between Agartala and Kolkata which goes through the ‘chicken’s neck’ in Siliguri would be reduced to 350 km if passengers could move through Bangladesh, officials said.

The eight north-eastern states would be the destination of startup ventures in the country after the announcement of the ’Startup India’ initiative in January, he said inaugurating the annual conference of Tripura Journalist Union (TJU) at Agartala Press Club.

Singh said that the Prime Minister was keen on developing northeast and the direct flight from Delhi to Dimapur in Nagaland was a major step to connect the region with the rest of the country.

Source: The Hindu


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