Agartala: Upset by the slow pace of work at the broad-gauge railway link between Agartala (India) and Akhaura (Bangladesh), Bangladesh Railway Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan on Thursday warned the construction agencies that the government will consider floating fresh tenders if the remaining works are not completed by December.

Despite extending the deadline of the projects thrice, around 30 per cent of the construction works are still pending. Irritated by the slow progress, the Bangladesh railway minister said, “if the remaining work is not completed by December, the government will be compelled to break ties with the company that has been awarded the contract and float tenders afresh to fast track the works.”

The Bangladesh Minister, along with the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswamy, paid an inspection visit to the under-construction sites and interacted with the officials of the construction agencies. The Indian envoy also said, “I want cooperation from all in order to speed up the ambitious project. People of both the countries will be equally benefited by the project”.

The Bangladesh Minister said, “New ways of connectivity are being opened between India and Bangladesh. New routes are being approved through water, land as well as airways. Given the longstanding camaraderie between both the countries, we must ensure that the ambitious project gets completed in time.”

Expressing his disappointment, he said, “Prime Ministers of both the countries inaugurated the ambitious project but the present stage of the work is disappointing. The construction agency has said that by June next year, the laying of tracks can be started. Other works like setting up signalling stations, station building etc will take some more time.”

Senior officials of the Bangladesh government and top officials of the construction agency escorted the Bangladesh minister during his visit.

The 15.6 kilometre-long railway link is divided between India and Bangladesh. The 5.46 kilometre that falls in the Indian territory is almost complete while the rest is on the Bangladesh side. The minister inspected the progress of work in the Bangladesh portion. 

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