Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha on Wednesday termed the newly inaugurated railway link between Agartala and Akhaura as a ‘historic’ move, saying that new rail connection will have a longer impact on the connectivity of the North East region with Bangladesh.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendran Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina for the official launch of the ambitious project, the Chief Minister said, “The Act East policy adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought sea change in the connectivity sector of the North East region.”
He was speaking to media persons, shortly after the formal inauguration of three India assisted projects comprising Agartala-Akhaura railway link, Khulna-Mongla port railway route and unit 2 of the Maitree thermal power project in Bangladesh through video conferencing.
“This 12.24 kilometers long railway route divided into two sides–5.46 kilometers in Tripura and 6.78 kilometers in Bangladesh-will act as a game changer for the state. A total of Rs 972.52 crore had been spent for laying the international railway tracks and other constructions. The Ministry of DoNER funded the Indian side of the project with an approximate budget of Rs 580 crore while the Rs 392.52 crore was spent on the Bangladesh side. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded the project on the Bangladesh side as an aid to Bangladesh”, the Chief Minister has said.
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As for new railway projects, Dr Saha said, “The Ministry of railways has also sanctioned a whopping sum of Rs 235 crore for upgradation of Agartala railway station as a world class facility equipped railway station. Right now, a total of 19 trains operate from Agartala railway station and almost in all the major cities we have access through railways; the recent addition being the Mumbai-Agartala direct train”.
Although the inauguration of the railway link was done, the railway connectivity is not fit for movement of passengers. Movement of goods could be carried out through the meter gauge line for the time being. For movements of passengers, the railway overhead corridor that connects Agartala railway station with Nishchintapur needs to be completed. Railway officials said that the process could take two more months.
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