Bangladesh-India Railway officers meeting tomorrow

Bangladesh and India Railway officials would meet in Dhaka on May 21 to review the progress of work in the railway link between Agartala and Akhaura in Bangladesh, a source said.

Bangladesh and India signed a memorandum of understanding on February 16 last for linking Agartala and Akhaura railway stations so that Bangladesh railways could be connected with the north eastern states of the country to avail the facilities of the Chittagong Port.

The survey for laying 15 km track was completed a few months ago and now the process for laying tracks would begin on both the sides of the Indo-Bangla international border, said Tripura Transport minister Manik De.

Total project cost for the project is Rs 271 crore which would be borne by India and of the 15 km track, only five km falls on the Indian side and the rest are in Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, NF Railway officials informed the Tripura government that the work for gauge conversion from Lumding in Assam to Agartala would be delayed by a year due to paucity of funds.
Sources said, NF Railway officials during a review meeting on progress of the project with Tripura government informed that the project would be completed by March 2015 instead of March 2014 as appropriate fund was not allocated.

The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and was attended by North East Frontier Railway (NFR) Lumding Divisional Manager Rakesh Goel and Chief Administrative Officer A.S. Garur, state Transport Minister Manik De and Revenue Minister Badal Chowdhury and state government officials.

The then prime minister H D Deve Gowda laid the foundation forconversion of Lumding-Agartala metre-gauge track to broad-gauge in January 1996. The project cost now rose to Rs 2,800 crore from Rs 648 crore in 1996.