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India-Myanmar rail project yet to be sanctioned

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 29 - The ambitious rail project to connect Imphal with neighbouring Myanmar has not been sanctioned yet, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has said.

In a reply to a Rajya Sabha question by Assam Congress MP Ranee Narah, Gohain on Friday said the portion from Imphal to Moreh is in India and the portion from Tamu to Kalay is in Myanmar. The project is yet to be sanctioned, he added.

A reconnaissance engineering-cum-traffic survey for a new broad gauge (BG) line from Imphal to Moreh covering a length of 111.25 km was completed in 2014-15. As per the survey, cost of the project was assessed to be Rs 5,428.46 crore. However, the estimated cost of Moreh-Tamu-Kalay BG rail link will be available once the survey is done, he said.

Meanwhile, RITES had submitted an offer to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for a detailed project report (DPR) for a new BG rail link connecting Moreh, Tamu and Kalay (110.15 km) in July, 2013 which was further revised in September, 2014, Gohain said.

The Agartala-Akhaura new railway line project has a track length of 15.06 km of which 5.05 km falls in India and 10.01 km in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh portion is being funded by MEA, while the Indian portion is being funded by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). An MoU has also been signed between the governments of India and Bangladesh in this regard.

The work on the Indian portion of this project has been entrusted to IRCON International Limited, a public sector undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Railways. IRCON has prepared a revised estimate of Rs 580 crore for the Indian portion that will have a 3.31-km elevated corridor/viaduct. Tender for earthwork and viaduct on this portion has been finalised, Gohain said.

So far as the Bangladesh portion is concerned, a DPR has been submitted by IRCON to MEA for approval of Bangladesh Government. The project cost of the Bangladesh portion is estimated at Rs 350 crore.

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