Indian railway minister lays foundation stone of rail link with Bangladesh

The circular, however, makes an exception for certain passengers.(Representative Image, Wikipedia) Photograph:( Others )

Reuters Agartala, India Jul 31, 2016, 03.23 PM (IST)
Indian railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a new rail link connecting Bangladesh to the northeastern state of Tripura.

Prabhu along with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Mujibul Haque, laid the foundation stone of the 15 kilometre long India-Bangladesh rail link in Tripura's capital Agartala. After laying the stone, the railway minister said they were also finding out a way to connect India to Chittagong, Bangladesh's financial centre.

"We will have a more detailed discussion to bring in these two friends even closer to one another to benefit from each other's connectivity. So this is part of a Trans-Asian railway network and I am sure in the next few years time we will be able to connect more. In fact, we just discussed, we are also finding out how we can have a small little connectivity that is missing to bring this part of India, connecting directly to Chittagong," said Prabhu.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed the railway project with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, during his visit to Dhaka in June 2015.

The Indian government would bear the entire expenditure of the railways project. Reportedly, on the Indian side, some portion of the track would be elevated to avoid farm land and habitations. Currently, India and Bangladesh have four rail links with West Bengal.