India is to carry out a survey to build a railway line connecting its north-eastern district of Tripura to the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong.
“Indian railway will soon conduct a survey to obtain basic details to lay a 125-km new railway line from southern Tripura’s border town Belonia to Chittagong international sea port in (southeast) Bangladesh,” Indian Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said as quoted by the Indian Express.
“Of the 125-km line, five km falls in India and the rest in Bangladesh. The proposed railway line via (Bangladesh’s) Feni town aims to access the Chittagong international sea port for the benefit of the mountainous northeast India,” Gohain said.
The minister added that consultations to finalise details of the survey were underway with Bangladesh.
The Belonia-Chittagong rail line will be the second rail line connecting the northeast of India to Bangladesh after the Agartala-Akhaura rail line, with work on the latter set to begin in May.
Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Bangladesh Rail Minister Majibul Haque jointly laid the foundation stone on July 31 last year for the Agartala-Akhaura railway project, after it was sanctioned in the 2012-13 Indian railway budget.
The rail line will reduce the distance from Agartala to Kolkata to one third of what it is currently.
The Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON) is set to lay the tracks on the Indian side while Bangladesh Railway will handle this side of the border. The Indian government is to cover the expenses for the project while IRCON will serve as project management consultant.