Thu, Feb 23, 2017 | updated 08:30 AM IST

Train to roll between Agartala and Akhaura by 2018

Updated: Oct 20, 2016 08:27 IST

Agartala [India], Oct 20 (ANI): By the end of 2018, a new rail connectivity of India and Bangladesh is likely to operate, said a joint high delegation of both the nations after the conclusion of the fifth Project Steering Committee meeting of Agartala-Akhaura (Tripura-Bangladesh) Railways that met here at the Agartala State Guest house yesterday.

The 10-member Indian delegation, consisting of senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and India Railways, was led by Ajit Kumar Gupte, Joint Secretary of MEA, Government of India while the eight member Bangladesh team was led by Sashi Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary of Bangladesh government that reached Agartala.

"There is a stress of 15 Km which is still to be built which will enable the railway line between Bangladesh and India to be connected. It will provide access for Bangladeshi goods to be able to come the Northeast (India) and similarly Northeast to access goods to Bangladesh. We have met the Bangladeshi delegation led by very senior officials who had come to discuss a roadmap for implementing this project as soon as possible," said Gupte during a joint press conference after the completion of the meeting.

He informed that all pertinent issue related to the project has been discusses and a deadline has been set for completion of it.

"We have completed all approvals in the respective ministry of both governments; we are now fully ready to start implementing the project. We discussed in detail issues such as land acquisition in both sides in Tripura and on the Bangladesh side in Brahmanbaria. We also discussed how the tenders would be issued, how the contracts would be given to respective companies and we have set specific dead line for implementation of the project," said the India team leader.

He added that the land acquisition though almost is complete in the Indian side but yet to start in Bangladesh side and hopefully the project shall be completed by 2018.

Gupte said, "We are expecting that some part of the work in the Indian side can be start by December this year 2016 because the land acquisition has to begin. Unless the land is acquired the work cannot start. Similarly, the process of land acquisition in the Bangladeshi side is going to start soon. We are hoping that the project will be completed within two to two-and-a-half year."

He informed that the total cost of the project which India government will bear is around Rs 972.52 crores out of which the Indian side will cost Rs 580 crores, while the Bangladesh side shall cost around Rs 392.52 crores.

Meantime, the Bangladesh team leader informed that they have also initiated the land acquisition process and by June next year the entire process will be completed and the land shall be handed over to the contractor.

Singha said, "I think that this connectivity is very important, it will boast up the bilateral trade and people to people contact. It is one of the new frontiers of our opportunity, it is very important for both the countries. You know that already both the governments have agreed to act and signed MoU for establishment of the rail connectivity. We have targeted to complete the project by 2018."

According to him though at seven point railways between India and Bangladesh are connected, it is operational on date only at three places.

Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is directly supervising the new India-Bangladesh railway project along Tripura which is going to be part of Trans-Asia Railway network.

The Agartala-Akhaura railway project was finalised in January 2010 when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met her then Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during her visit to New Delhi.

Later Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the railway project with Hasina during his visit to Dhaka.

The 1,650-km distance between Agartala and Kolkata would be reduced to only 550 km once the new rail track is linked through Bangladesh.

The Indian government had announced it will bear the entire cost of the 15-km railway project. Of the 15 km, 5 km fall in the Indian Territory and the remaining in Bangladesh.

Around 97.6 acres of land in Tripura was initially estimated for laying the track but the latest alignment of the project in which the Indian side will be overhead has reduced the required land acquisition to 72 acres.

The India state-owned IRCON is expected to lay the tracks on both sides of the border. (ANI)

NewDelhi [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): As the voting for the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly election began on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people of the politically crucial state to cast their vote.

Full Story >>

Mahoba (UP) [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): At least four people including Samajwadi Party candidate Siddhgopal Sahu's son were injured after a clash between SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supporters broke out in Mahoba.

Full Story >>

Dharwad (Karnataka) [India], Feb 23 (ANI): Local police arrested two men from Dharwad, for alleged involvement in circulating Rs. 6, 84,500 fake currency notes, last night.

Full Story >>

Delhi HC to hear Mukhtar Ansari's parole case

Updated: Feb 23, 2017 07:39 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court to hear the parole issue of mafia turned politician Mukhtar Ansari, today.

Full Story >>

UP polls: Voting for fourth phase underway

Updated: Feb 23, 2017 07:35 IST

Lucknow (UP) [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Voting for the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly election has begun on 53 constituencies spread over 12 districts including the Bundelkhand region and Raebareli.

Full Story >>

SC to resume hearing on age criteria for NEET

Updated: Feb 23, 2017 06:55 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 23(ANI): The Supreme Court, on Thursday, will resume the hearing on the age criteria for the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET), for various undergraduate courses.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 23(ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear the plea, filed by noted environmentalist, M. C. Mehta, in air pollution case.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court, on Thursday, will hear the petition filed by Dangwimsai Pul, the first wife of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, seeking a direction for registration of an FIR and investigation into a suicide note, purportedly written by her husband, who allegedly committed suicide on August 9, last year.

Full Story >>

Kampala [Uganda], Feb 23 (ANI): Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, on Wednesday, while speaking on bilateral relations with India, in a business forum, expressed his satisfaction over importing Indian goods for more than one million US dollars.

Full Story >>

Kampala [Uganda], Feb 23 (ANI): Agreeing to expand cooperation in energy sector, Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari, on Wednesday, said both India and Uganda have decided to grow and scale new heights in future.

Full Story >>

Mulund (Maharashtra) [India], Feb 23 (ANI): The Mumbai session's court has ordered lifetime imprisonment to two accused and 20 years' jail term to seven others, for assaulting and raping a rag-picker, in September 2013.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): The Income Tax Department has identified 235 cases for 'benami' transactions and properties till mid-February 2017.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's clarification on framework agreement signed between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India, during his visit to Imphal has failed to convince the Civil Society organisation of the state as well as the students' bodies as he only stated that Manipur was not included in the agreement, but, did not produce the agreement copy.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is in Delhi, today called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi here this afternoon. She brought several issues confronting the State into the notice of the Prime Minister.

Full Story >>

Kampala [Uganda], Feb. 22 (ANI): Honorary Consul Consulate of the republic of Uganda Madhusudan Agrawal on Wednesday hailed the visit of Vice President Hamid Ansari to the African nation, saying his visit would pave way for more business opportunities for the Indian community.

Full Story >>

Jammu Kashmir, [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Residents of Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed the restrictions placed by the state government in order to curb wasteful expenditure incurred during weddings.

Full Story >>

PLA delegation from China visits India

Updated: Feb 22, 2017 22:45 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): A 15-member delegation from Western Theatre Command of People's Liberation Army (PLA), China led by Major General Zhao Jin Song is on a five-day visit to India from February 21 to 26.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee has pitched for reforms in judicial system to make it more efficient.

Full Story >>

Dharamshala, (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Feb.22, (ANI): Tibetan Prime Minister in-exile Lobsang Sangay on Wednesday inaugurated a shelter for the former political prisoners of Tibet in Dharamshala.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): In a veiled attack at All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V.K. Sasikala, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K Stalin on Wednesday said if proper probe takes place in late J. Jayalalithaa's death case, then the former, who is serving a four-year jail term in connection with a 19-year old disproportionate assets case, will have to surrender to law.

Full Story >>