AGARTALA, July 11 - Acquisition of land for rail link between Agartala and Akhaura in Bangladesh will start soon as funds have been released by DoNER Ministry, officials said.
�Rs 97 crore was earmarked for land for Agartala-Akhaura rail project in the Indian side. The entire amount has been handed over to the State Government and we will start acquisition of land in five-kilometre area up to the border on Indian side.
�As we have to give notices to the land owners, it will take about three months to complete the process,� West Tripura District Magistrate Milind Ramteke told reporters on Sunday.
The process of laying the 15.05-km-long railway tracks to connect Agartala with Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed by 2017. Of the total track, a stretch of five kilometre would be on the Indian side and the rest in Bangladesh.
A flyover (viaduct) which will be 3.7 km long would be constructed on the Indian side to save cultivable lands and the entire project cost would be borne by the government, he said.
DoNER has already sanctioned Rs 580 crore for the project as New Delhi is keen to establish the rail link which would connect West Bengal and Tripura through Bangladesh.
The Agartala-Akhaura railway route would connect Indian Railways with Bangladesh Railways to improve connectivity and boost trade between the two countries.
Also the 1,700 km distance between Agartala and Kolkata which passes the �chicken�s neck� in Siliguri would be reduced to 350 km if passengers could move through Bangladesh, officials said.
The entire project cost for laying down the track on Indian side and Bangladeshi side would be borne by India.
The two neighbouring countries had agreed to lay the tracks between Akhaura and Agartala during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina�s visit to New Delhi in January 2010. � PTI