Agartala: The much-awaited 15.6-km-long Agartala-Akhaura railway line, connecting India's North-East with Bangladesh, is likely to be completed by the end of September 2022, officials said.
Divisional Manager of Northeast Frontier Railway, J S Lakra, who is in Tripura for two days, visited Nischintapur yard here on Friday to review the work underway for the project which was taken up in 2013 after the two countries inked a memorandum.
"I visited the Nischintapur area and I was happy to see the kind of work being undertaken for the project. It is likely to be completed by September next year," he told reporters here on Saturday.
He also said that goods will be shipped from one country to another via the network, and later people, too, can avail the service to travel.
The Agartala-Akhaura railway line, once inaugurated, is expected to give trade and commerce between India and Bangladesh a desired boost.
IRCON International Ltd -- formerly Indian Railway Construction Limited -- has been assigned the task of constructing the line on both sides of the border.
After completion of work, India's northeast would not just be connected with Bangladesh via the railway network, but the region will also have easier access to Chittagong sea port in the neighbouring country, another official said.
The railway link will connect Gangasagar under Akhaura sub-division of Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh with Nischintapur in India here, and from there to Agartala station.
Nischintapur has a transhipment yard, the first in the northeast region, and the passengers coming from Bangladesh would be de-boarded there. The incoming goods will also be offloaded at Nischintapur.
Work on the Indian side is almost complete. On the Bangladesh side, construction has resumed after a long gap due to COVID-19 lockdown, an official of IRCON International Ltd told PTI.
The Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER) is bearing the cost for laying the 5.46-km-long track on the Indian side, and the expenses of setting up the 10.6-km-long stretch in Bangladesh is being borne by the Ministry of External Affairs, the official said.
"Cost and time would be saved in ferrying goods and heavy machinery between the northeast and abroad using the Bangladesh's railway network and ports as stakeholders won't need not travel via Kolkata anymore," he added.