The Agartala-Akhaura rail network, one of the strategic bilateral connectivity for India and Bangladesh is likely to be made operational by end of this year.
Earth moving works for the project are scheduled to be get completed by June in Bangladesh side while rail track would be laid by September and signal would be installed by November.
Construction of custom and immigration building has been making good progress and it is expected that all the ancillary works would be completed well before November.
Since the soil in 10-km stretch in Bangladesh part is in formative stage, the construction agency ‘Taxmaco Rail and Engineering Ltd’, an Indian construction giant has taken special measures to address the problem. “Heavy goods train will be running soon after laying of new track that will be duel gauge”, said an official of IRCON.
In Indian side, the 5 km proposed rail link would be broad gague and it will be a problem to connect it with rail track coming from Bangladesh as this part will be dual gauge.
In the first phase, there will be a railyard at Nishchintapur, an Indian border point where passengers coming from Bangladesh will come down. “Construction of railway link in Indian side is also making progress. There will be elevated corridor near Badharghat for free movement of vehicles. The rail head will move on the ground while elevated corridor will be made for free vehicle movement”, he said.
The 15-km Indo-Bangla railway project would be beneficial for both sides as it will reduce the distance from Bangladesh to Kolkata by 50 percent. In the Indian railway map, the distance between Agartala-Kolkata is 1613 km while it will be reduced to only 514 km once the proposed Indo-Bangla railway project is opened.
This will not only to increase the business but also have a far-reaching implication in passenger movement and tourism.
Update: 10th February 2020
Agartala-Akhaura rail link in September 2021
The Railway line between Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed by September 2021 and the process for acquisition of land and
handing it over to the executing agency in both the countries
has been completed, officials said on Thursday.
The 15.6 km-long railway link connects Gangasagar in Bangladesh to Nischintapur in India (10.6 km) and from Nischintapur to Agartala railway station (5.46 Kms).
The DoNER ministry is bearing the cost for laying the track on the 5.46 km Indian side and the cost of laying the 10.6 km-long track on the Bangladesh side is being borne by the ministry of external affairs, the officials said.
IRCON is the executing agency for construction of the project on both sides and Rs 580 crore has been sanctioned for the Indo-Bangla railway work in the Indian side.
Work is in progress in full swing in the Indian side and we hope to complete it before September 2021. The process for acquisition of land is complete and the land has been handed over to IRCON, Raman Singla, Deputy Chief Engineer of IRCON International Ltd, said.
A district magistrate-level meeting of three districts of Bangladesh and Tripura have reviewed the progress of the Agartala-Akhaura railway line here on Wednesday.
Mahatme N Sandeep, district magistrate of West Tripura who headed the Indian delegation, confirmed that the ministry has set the target of completing the railway project by September, 2021.
The soil condition in the Indian side is soft. So, latest technology is being used,” he said. A 3.1 km long viaduct would be constructed to save
land and curtail expenses, IRCON officials said adding around
600 skilled workers under the supervision of 30 engineers of
IRCON are working round the clock to complete works.
Officials said Nischintapur will have a transhipment yard, the first in the north east region and the passengers and goods coming from Bangladesh will be off boarded there.
The IRCON engineers are expected to start laying the railway tracks by September/October this year. The first phase of the 5.46 km Gangasagar-Nischintapur railway track and construction of station building, a 1600 m
platform and the transhipment yard are expected to be completed by December, they added.