India-Bangladesh rail link: North-east India and Bangladesh to be connected by Indian Railways line by next year! Union Minister Jitendra Singh recently announced that the landmark railway line, connecting the northeastern region of India with the neighbouring country Bangladesh, will be ready by the end of 2021. The minister was quoted in a PTI report saying that once the construction of the railway line, between Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura in Bangladesh, is completed, the first train would run from the Northeast region to Bangladesh on the eve of India’s 75th year of Independence in the year 2022. The railway line will be completed before the end of 2021, Singh said.
While speaking on the upcoming projects in North-east India, Singh said that his ministry will bear the cost of laying a 5.46 km rail track on the Indian side. While on the Bangladesh side, the cost of laying a 10.6 km track is being borne by the External Affairs Ministry. According to him, the railway link will connect Gangasagar in Bangladesh to India’s Nischintapur and from Nischintapur to Agartala railway station in Tripura.
Singh further informed that the land acquisition process and handing over to executing agencies in both the nations has been completed. Also, Rs 580 crore has been sanctioned for the Indo-Bangladesh railway work on the Indian side, he said. The minister further elaborated that the soil condition on the Indian side is soft and thus, the latest technology is being used for this project. In order to complete the work, nearly 600 skilled workers are working round-the-clock, he said.
According to Singh, the progress made in the last five years can be realized from the fact that when Modi government came in 2014, the Indian Railways connectivity across North-east India was very poor; there were two such states, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, where people had never seen a train. At present, there is a regular ‘Arunachal Express’ train running from Itanagar to the national capital. Also, a double-gauge track is being laid all across the Northeastern region, he said. The India-Bangladesh rail link will be one of the most glorious achievements of recent years, Singh added.