Railway Ministry sanctions final location survey to bolster cross-border connectivity

The expansion of railway connectivity holds promising implications for trade, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges, offering a sustainable mode of transportation.
The total length of the Final Location Survey (FLS) sanctioned is 1275.50 km
The total length of the Final Location Survey (FLS) sanctioned is 1275.50 km

NEW DELHI: In a significant move, the Ministry of Railways has sanctioned the Final Location Survey (FLS) for enhancing railway connectivity with its neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal through over a dozen new railway connectivity routes.

This move to sanction the FLS has been taken with the aim of bolstering transportation links through the crucial chicken neck portion, facilitating smoother trade and travel between the nations.

The chief spokesperson of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), Sabyasachi De, said, "The Indian Railway has recently sanctioned the FLS for 14 new railway connectivity routes connecting the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and also alternate routes towards northeast". He added that the total length of the Final Location Survey (FLS) sanctioned is 1275.50 km and the total length of FLS for new railway lines connecting Bangladesh is 861 km and with Nepal is 202.5 km. "The proposed alternate routes towards Northeast will be of 212 km length", he said.

Under the government's steadfast commitment to fostering friendly and mutually beneficial relations with its neighbours, these proposed railway lines are poised to strengthen regional connectivity and promote economic development across borders. 

The 'Neighbourhood First' policy underscores India's resolve to prioritize collaborative efforts with neighbouring nations for shared prosperity and enhanced regional integration.

The NFR chief spokesperson added that the sanctioned routes for FLS of railway connectivity between India and Bangladesh are Balurghat-Hill-Parbatipur-Kunia-Lalmanirhat-Mogalhat-Gataldaha section under the NF railway. In the same way, the sanctioned route for the final local survey of rail connectivity between India and Nepal is between Biratnagar and the New Mal junction which will require the construction of a 190 km new rail line. The proposed Galgalia -Bhadrapur -Kajali bazaar section will require the construction of a 12.5 km new rail line.

Besides these routes connecting India and neighbouring countries, the alternate new route towards the Northeast to be constructed between Forebesganj-Lakshamipur sections will be of 17.60 km length while the new route between Thakurganj-Chattarhat sections will be of 24.40 km length. The Kumedur-Falakata new route will require the construction of a 170 km new rail line.

The expansion of railway connectivity holds promising implications for bilateral trade, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges, offering a sustainable mode of transportation that transcends geographical boundaries. Meanwhile, railway officials said that by investing in infrastructure development and facilitating seamless connectivity, India seeks to deepen its engagement with Bangladesh and Nepal while fostering a conducive environment for mutual growth and cooperation.

The sanctioning of the FLS underscores India's proactive approach towards infrastructure development and regional connectivity, marking a significant milestone in the realization of the government's vision for a more integrated and prosperous South Asian region.

The 'Neighbours First' Policy in Railway will prioritise enhanced rail connectivity, infrastructure development and fostering greater people-to-people contacts. "It will also develop better communication between neighbouring nations which will lead to a significant increase in trade and tourism activities,"  the NF railway claimed.

The total length of the Final Location Survey (FLS) sanctioned is 1275.50 km
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