AGARTALA,�Aug 30 - The 15-km Indo-Bangla railway project connecting Agartala with Gangasagar (Bangladesh) would be commissioned by the end of next year.
The decision to commission the ambitious project by December 2018, was taken at a meeting of Indo-Bangla Joint Steering Committee comprising officials from both sides that ended in Dhaka�yesterday.
In the meeting, it was revealed that land acquisition process has made good progress on both sides. While 60 per cent land acquisition has been completed in Bangladesh, 70-75 per cent has been completed in Tripura side.
Tripura Transport Secretary Samarjit Bhowmik who was part of the 14-member Indian delegation demanded introduction of passenger and goods train services on the proposed railway track. Besides, there must be dual-gauge (metre gauge and broad gauge) from Akhaura side to Bangladesh, he said.
In reply, it was informed that laying of dual-gauge has already begun from Akhaura to Laxum (Bangladesh) so that the Indian Railway can operate service without any hindrance.
In the meeting, it was shared that the survey for the railway connectivity between Belonia (South Tripura) to Feni in Bangladesh has been initiated. Secretary of Bangladesh Railways Ministry and Assistant Secretary of Bangladesh Railways Minister joined the meeting. The next meeting of the committee would be held in December this year.
After the meeting, a team of the Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs M Subbarayudu visited Nishintapur area, entry point of Indo-Bangla border and Agartala railway station. They also inspected the alignment of the proposed rail link � 5 km in Indian part and 10 km in Bangladesh side.
The Centre has assigned Central public sector undertaking IRCON to execute the railway track laying works across 15-km distance in both sides of the border and DoNER has already released Rs 97 crore to expedite land acquisition process, a vital preliminary work of the project.