Indo-Bangla Rail: Delay in Land Acquisition may push target timelines further

Agartala: The ambitious Indo-Bangla railway project connecting Agartala with Bangladesh’s Gangasagar might get delayed due to an impasse in land acquisition process.

As per the plan, land measuring 66 acres was supposed to be handed over to IRCON by January this year for construction of the 15-km railway track.

The West district administration had issued a notification for acquisition of land for the railway project. Even if the administration speeds up the process, it will take at least six months to acquire the land for the project after fulfilling all official formalities.

Work for the Indo-Bangla railway project was supposed to begin in the first part of 2016 but now the work may start only by middle of this year, according to sources in the IRCON. In that case, the Rs 500 crore project can get completed by 2020.

As per the DPR, there will be four railway stations in the 15 km long Indo-Bangla railway link. One part of the project is the elevated corridor from Agartala railway station to Nishchintapur, a border area of Tripura. The move to construct elevated corridor was proposed to save land which will reduce the project cost substantially.

The DoNER Ministry has already sanctioned Rs 97 crore for land acquisition but due to lackadaisical attitude of the district administration the process is yet to get momentum. When contacted, a senior official of the district administration on Monday said, “We can’t explain the reasons behind the delay as District Magistrate Dr Milind Ramteke is on leave. However, the process for land acquisition is a priority for the government”, he added.

Meanwhile, passenger train service up to Udaipur is expected to kick start shortly as CRS inspection has been done successfully. Now, the NFR is focusing on completion of railway extension line up to Sabroom, State’s southernmost border subdivision.