Indo-Bhutan MoU to establish rail links

New Delhi, Jan 25 | Updated: Jan 26 2005, 05:30am hrs
India and Bhutan on Tuesday signed an agreement for establishing rail links between bordering towns. The two countries have also agreed to step up cooperation in agriculture and power sectors.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), inked in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the two sides have agreed to conduct feasibility studies for extension of Indian railway network from West Bengal and Assam to the nearest border towns of Bhutan.

This comes as part of the overall strategy of upgrading border infrastructure and connectivity with Bhutan.

It will examine links between Hasimara (West Bengal) and Phuentsholing (approximately 18 km and bifurcation to Pasakha, 70-km stretch between Kokrajhar (Assam) and Gelephu, 40-km distance between Pathsala (Assam) and Nanglam, Rangla (Assam) and Samdrupjongkhar via Darranga (about 60 kms) and Banarhat (West Bengal) and Samtse .

The MoU was signed by minister of state for railways Naranbhai J Rathwa and Bhutanese foreign minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk.

King Wangchuk, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations, told mediapersons that the step will have a positive impact on the economic relations of the two countries.