A few months after Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Patil Danve said that work on the international Agartala-Akhaura rail connectivity with Bangladesh would be completed by December this year, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhury s visited the project site on Sunday and said he hoped the project would be commissioned in about a year.
The project, which was previously expected to be completed in December 2020, was delayed due to land acquisition issues and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Agartala-Akhaura rail link is 15 km long and would connect Akhaura in Bangladesh to an international immigration station at Nischintapur along the international border between India and Bangladesh.
Speaking to reporters after a visit to Nischintapur, Chaudhury said he had come to monitor the progress of the works.
“I came to take stock of the progress of the work… The progress of the work is very good. At this rate, it will be completed very soon and the connectivity with Bangladesh will be smoother,” the Union Minister told reporters.
However, the minister added that it will take more than a year for the project to be commissioned.
Notably, his comments came three months after Bangladesh Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujon expressed his dissatisfaction with the progress of the works and warned the construction agency to complete the pending works. by December 2022 on pain of consequences.
Danve, who visited the project site on April 22 this year, previously said that work was progressing according to schedule on the Agartala-Akhaura project and another India-Bangladesh international railway project at Sabroom in the south. from Tripura.
Danve had said work on stations and lines was nearly complete for the Akhaura project and added that the Union government was keeping December 2022 as the target date for completion.
The ambitious India-Bangladesh rail connectivity project is expected to reduce the travel time between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka from 31 hours to 10 hours, as the route would effectively reduce the distance from 1,600 km to 550 km.