Today is a historic day for the state. The establishment of rail link between India and Bangladesh through Nishchintapur and Gangasagar rial station will be written in golden letters in the history of the state. With this rail link Tripura is going to emerge as a gateway in the field of transport and tourism, stated the Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha at a press meet after the virtual inauguration of the Agartala-Akhaura rail link. The chief minister said, with the opening of this rail link now the distance between Agartala and Kolkata will reduce from 1600 km. to 500 km. Speaking on the Agartala-Akhaura rail link further he said, this rail link spreads over 12.24 km. of which 5.46 km. falls in Tripura on Indian side and 6.76 km. is the length on Bangladesh side. In July, 2016 this project was approved with an allocation of Rs. 972.52 crore. Out of this Rs. 580 crore was sanctioned for Indian side and Rs. 392.52 crore was sanctioned for Bangladesh side.
At the press meet the Chief Minister informed that the expenditure for the Indian side work is being borne by the DONER ministry and for the Bangladesh side work the expenditure is being borne by the Ministry of External Affairs as ‘aid to Bangladesh’. IRCON has been entrusted with the Indian side work and TEXMACO is doing the same on the Bangladesh side. At a later date the project cost has been increased in two phases. An amount of Rs. 862.58 crore has been sanctioned for the Indian side work. and Rs. At present the project cost stands at Rs. 1255.10 crore. For implementation of the project 86.846 acre land has been handed over to IRCON. After the Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over in 2014, the issue of connectivity development in the Northeast gained special focus under the Act East policy. Under the policy a number of projects are being implemented. In terms of overall connectivity now the Northeast region including Tripura is making rapid progress which was not possible in the last seven decades of post-independence era. Immense improvement has been witnessed in the connectivity sector with the proper implementation of HIRA model announced by the Prime Minister.
Referring to the development of railways in the state the Chief Minister said, PM Modi has launched Amrit Bharat Scheme for re-development of 508 rail stations across the country. Under the scheme Rs. 5100 crore will be spent on 91 rail stations in the NF railway zone. Dharmanagar, Kumarghat and Udaipur rail stations will be covered by this scheme. For their development and modernization Rs. 96.60 crore will be spent. Additionally Agartala rail station will be upgraded to a world class rail station spending Rs. 235.45 crore. The chief minister said, at present 19 trains are running in the state. Out of them, 13 are express trains, five are DEMU trains and one is local train (Agartala-Dharmanagar). The Chief Minister also referred to the inauguration of Agartala-Mumbai Lokamanya Tilak-Kamakhya Express weekly train and the matter of installing escalator at Agartala rail station.
Chief secretary J.K. Sinha, secretary Dr. P.K. Chakraborty and secretary of the transport department U.K. Chakma were also present at the press meet.