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Talks with Lanka on $5.19 bn road project to begin by Oct

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Keen on fostering ties with neighbours, is set to engage in high-level talks with by October for an ambitious USD 5.19 billion road project to connect both the nations through a sea-bridge and an under water tunnel.

The development follows Road Transport and Minister meeting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week with plans to expand the existing motor pact with Bangladesh, Bhutan and to other neighbouring countries.


Secretary-level talks between and have been decided by October in the island nation to take forward the project involving construction of a sea bridge and under-water tunnel linking 22 km stretch between Talaimannar, and Dhanushkodi, India, official sources said.

Multilateral funding agency ADB has already shown interest

to finance the USD 5.19 billion project, sources said adding, the bank has already agreed to finance infrastructure projects worth USD 8 billion under Bangladesh, Bhutan, and (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement, aimed at providing seamless flow of traffic among the nations.

Secretary-level talks are proposed as per convenience of for a pre-feasibility study and finance by ADB, sources said.

"The officer level meeting will include apprising about the developments related to implementing BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement. The pact aims at facilitating cross border movement of all types of vehicles in the region. Since there is a provision of other countries in the region joining the pact, may like to consider this for further improving connectivity between the region," an official said.

wants to join the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement, the official said.

The project was signed in June this year in Bhutan during Gadkari's visit there.

Work on the USD 8 billion road connectivity projects under BBIN is likely to be completed within two years.

is also looking to enter into another landmark motor pact with Myanmar and Thailand by year end.

Gadkari had earlier said there is a missing link of narrow corridor of about 22 km in connectivity to from ameshwaram, which is presently being serviced through makeshift ferry service arrangements.

"We are working on the project and as soon as it is completed, Trans Asia Road and transport network could be extended to Sri Lanka," Gadkari had said.

First Published: Sun, September 20 2015. 12:02 IST
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