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Akhaura- Agartala rail link to be inaugurated virtually by PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Agartala-Akhaura rail link project virtually. This cross-border initiative aims to strengthen business ties and provide direct access between India’s landlocked northeastern region and the Chittagong port in Bangladesh.

Execution and Timeline

  • The project is executed by IRCON, a CPSE of Railways, on the Indian side, and it serves as the Project Management Consultant (PMC) for Bangladesh Railways.
  • Originally scheduled for completion in 2020, the project faced delays due to various reasons.

Trial Run

  • On October 30, a trial run was conducted on the Akhaura-Agartala rail route, with a locomotive engine pulling four wagons crossing into Tripura from the border.
  • The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel conducted screening before the train entered the Indian side near Nischintapur, Agartala.

Distance and Travel Time

  • Once operational, the rail link will reduce the rail journey from Kolkata to Agartala (via Guwahati) from 31 hours and 1500 km to just 10 hours and 500 km.


  • The estimated cost for the Indian portion of the project is Rs 862.58 crore, with the national transporter allocating Rs 153.84 crore from its budget to expedite the work.
  • In Bangladesh, the cost of constructing 6.78 kilometers of railway is approximately Taka 241 crore, according to the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.


  • The project traces its origins to the agreement between India and Bangladesh during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January 2010.
  • Construction of the 15.064-km-long railway line began in 2018, with 5.05 km in India and the remaining 10.014 km in Bangladesh.


  • The Agartala-Akhaura railway link holds substantial significance, as it is expected to enhance bilateral relations, tourism, trade, and cultural exchanges between India and Bangladesh.
  • It will promote the growth of small-scale industries in the border area and boost tourism in the northeastern region of India.
  • Additionally, it will expedite the export and import of commodities, enabling local producers to reach international markets more efficiently.
  • The project is in alignment with Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Act East Policy,’ emphasizing connectivity and cooperation in the eastern region.

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