AGARTALA, Oct 19 - Work on the 15.06 km Indo-Bangla railway project, which could be a game changer in the Act East Policy, is expected to kick start by December this year after completion of land acquisition process, according to official sources.
The decision was taken in the Indo-Bangla Joint Hearing Committee meeting held in the State Guest House here on Wednesday.
�Today, we had a meeting with senior officials of Bangladesh Government and discussed the project in details. A road map was prepared to implement a path-breaking railway project�, Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arun Kumar Gupte told the media after the meeting.
�Once the project is implemented, the North East will have access to ports in Bangladesh while Bangladesh side will also be benefited�, he said.
Addl Secretary of Bangladesh Railways Sushil Kumar Singhe, who led the Bangladesh team, said all approvals in regard to the railway project connecting Agartala with Bangladesh�s Akhaura railway station have been cleared.
�We have discussed various aspects of the project including land acquisition process in Indian side. And, some specific guidelines were also finalised to implement the project�, he said.
Singhe continued, �The project works are expected to start by end of December as land acquisition process is yet to be completed in Indian side. Once the works are initiated, it will take two and one half years to complete the multi-crore rupee railway project�.
As per the DPR, an amount of Rs 532 crore would be spent on Indian side for laying railway track and elevated corridor while Rs 392 crore is budgeted to complete railway track in Bangladesh side.
Foundation stone for laying 15-km Indo-Bangla railway track was laid by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mujibul Haque on July 31 this year.