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Modi-Hasina To Flag Off Akhaura-Agartala Train Virtually Tomorrow

The much-anticipated railway project which is going to connect Akhaura in Bangladesh with Agartala in Tripura is going to inaugurate tomorrow i.e on Saturday. 

People of both sides are looking forward for that moment. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually inaugurate the Akhaura-Agartala railway project on Saturday. 

On that day Bangladesh Railway is going to run experimental or trial train on Akhaura-Agartala railway. Akhaura-Agartala trial run train is now waiting at Akhaura railway junction station of Eastern Railway.

A freight container trial train will go from Gangasagar railway station of Brahmanbaria’s Akhaura rail section to Jahanpur station of Agartala railway station through the new railway on Saturday afternoon.

Additional Director General of Railways (Infrastructure) Shahidul Islam, General Manager of Eastern Railway Jahangir Hossain and Akhaura-Agartala Railway Project Director Abu Zafar Mia confirmed this to the media when they visited the railway project recently.

Akhaura Railway Junction Station Superintendent Nurunnabi said that the trial run or experimental train from Tejgaon station in Dhaka reached Akhaura railway junction station on the afternoon of September 3. When the train reached Akhaura railway junction station with 11 coaches, the coaches of the trial run train were painted yellow and the body was painted black.

He said that the experimental or trial run train has now been placed on line 8 of platform 3 of Akhaura Railway Junction Station. The trial run train will be taken from Akhaura station to Gangasagar railway station on Friday morning.

It is known that ahead of the inauguration date of Akhaura-Agartala railway, Bangladesh Railway Minister, Secretary, Additional Secretary and related senior officials visited the project area. 

A high level delegation of Railways visited the project work on Saturday afternoon. The team was led by Additional Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of Railways. 

Already, the experimental ganker or inspection car has moved several times on this route. 

Members of the project delegation traveled from Gangasagar railway station on the Akhaura-Agartala railway line to Shivnagar on the Indian border in gankers or inspection cars. 

It is known that the India-Bangladesh railway link project will reduce travel time and distance between Agartala and West Bengal via Akhaura-Dhaka. 

If the project starts, it will take 10 hours instead of 31 hours and the Agartala-Kolkata distance will be only 513 km from 1,650 km.

Along with the employment of the local residents, the doors of railway trade between the two countries will be opened, the transportation cost will be reduced – this is what the railway minister and secretaries are claiming.

After the Akhaura-Agartala road, the Akhaura-Agartala railway connection will open the new door of Bangladesh-India trade. If the railway is opened, it will open the horizon of tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries.

An agreement was signed with Indian contractor Texmeco Rail and Engineering Limited on May 21, 2018 for the construction of dual gauge railway from Gangasagar in Akhaura to Nishchintpur in Agartala. The contractor started work on the project on July 29, 2018. 

Although it was supposed to be completed within a year and a half, the contractor could not complete the work on time due to various crises including the Corona Pandemic.

The total length of the railway between the two countries is 12.24 kilometers and 6.78 kilometers in the Bangladesh part of the dual gauge railway. Railway lines have been installed in the entire section. 

The project manager claims that the overall progress of the project has been completed more than 95 percent and the final stage work is underway. 

However, the work on the Customs and Immigration building and the station platform has not yet been completed.

During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in 2010, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries regarding the construction of this railway.

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