AGARTALA: General Manager of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) H.K. Jaggi on Thursday said that the Broad Gauge (BG) rail service will be inaugurated by the second or third week of this month from Agartala.
He was speaking to media at the state secretariat after meeting Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Transport Minister Manik Dey before finalizing the date of the inauguration of the BG service.
The NFR GM had arrived here to review the preparation for flagging off BG train service from Agartala and inspection of the Agartala-Udaipur line said that due to heavy rain followed by landslip there has been damage of the rail line in the Silchar-Lumding sector and which is delaying the inauguration.
On the Agartala-Akhaura (Indo-Bangla) railway project, Jaggi said the Ministry Of Development Of North Eastern Region has already released the first installment of Rs 150 crore out of the total Rs 580 crores and by this month NFR is likely to get the fund and after which land acquisition work in the India part shall start.
He informed that out of the total 15 km international rail project the 5 km India part of the project will cost around Rs 580 crores which will be totally borne by NEC while the remaining 10 km in Bangladesh will cost Rs 360 crores to be funded by the India External Affairs Ministry.
Jaggi further added he had requester the Tripura government to expedite the process of land acquisition for timely completion of the project.
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 Rs.940-crore railway project with Hasina during his visit to Dhaka in June 2014.
The Agartala-Akhaura railway project is also in the consideration of the Trans-Asia Railway network connecting the South Asian nations with Europe through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The NITI Aayog had decided put in place the vital railway project between India and Bangladesh by December 2017
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.