Railway Ministry convenes meeting over Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link

नई दिल्ली New Delhi:  Ministry of Railway has convened fourth inter-departmental steering committee meeting to review the progress of Agartala (Tripura) – Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway connectivity on October 27 next in New Delhi, Tripura state transport department officials said here today.

The meeting is scheduled to discuss the funding provision of the project and also to finalise the modified DPR of the project for connecting India and Bangladesh to boost socio-cultural and business tie between two countries.

Chief Resident Commissioner of Tripura government in New Delhi Pravin Srivastava will represent the state in the meeting and apprised the latest position of the project, said Transport minister Manik Dey and also asked to flag the issue of funding for much waited inter-country railway link.

He said third meeting of the committee was held in Dhaka in June last but in past three months there was not much headway in the project. Besides, all other stakeholders, officers from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) would also attend the meeting to speed up the project. Ministry of DoNER was supposed to handle the funds for Agartala-Akhaura rail project under the Planning Commission awards, denied to take responsibility, as Modi led NDA government has decided to knock down Planning Commission of India, he said.

“We have successfully conducted survey of the proposed alignment in Tripura part”, Dey said adding that the survey report proposed Rs.302 Crore fund for the project. IRCON, a central government PSU, was entrusted with the responsibility to handle all operations of construction of the railway lines between Akhaura and Agartala over a distance of 15 Km.

About 4.5 Km land area out of proposed 5 Km stretch of rail-line in Tripura part was demarcated. However, modified DPR of the project suggested diverting the railway route in Indian side that increased the length of the proposed railway line. During the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit in January 2010, both countries had agreed to set up a second railway link between the two countries through Agartala. Accordingly, an 11-member steering committee was constituted.

Bangladesh and India signed a MoU in February last year for linking Agartala and Akhaura railway stations to connect Bangladesh railways with the north eastern states.