The process of laying the 15-km-long railway track connecting Agartala
to Bangladesh's Akhaura
region will be completed in two and a half years, an official at the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) said on Wednesday.
"Of the total track, a stretch of five kms will be on the Indian side and the rest in Bangladesh. The project would be completed in two and a half years," told the MEA Joint Secretary, A K Gupte, while addressing a group of reporters at Agartala.
According to Gupte, the total cost of the project, which is worth Rs 972.52 crore, would be borne by the government of India, adding that the Indian side was being funded by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. Whereas the MEA was financing the project across the border.
An eight-member-team led by Bangladesh's Additional Secretary of Roads and Railway, Sashi Singh, met a group of Indian delegates led by Gupte at Agartala
on Wednesday. This is the fifth meeting of the project's steering committee.
Officials said, acquisition
of lands on the Indian side have already begun.
New Delhi is keen to establish a rail link, which will connect West Bengal
and Tripura through Bangladesh. The Agartala-Akhaura
railway route will connect Indian Railways with Bangladesh
rail network to improve connectivity and boost trade between the two countries.
The neighbouring country had agreed to lay tracks between Akhaura
during its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in January 2010.