Bangladesh And India Establish A Rail Link Via Tripura

The 15km Akhaura-Agartala cross-border train link will significantly shorten travel time between Kolkata and the northeast states
Representative Image
Representative Image Ruslan Fatihov on Unsplash

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a new train link connecting Akhaura, Bangladesh, with Agartala, India's northeastern state of Tripura.

The inauguration was done virtually from New Delhi and Dhaka. This comes a decade after India and Bangladesh signed an MoU to set up the first Indo-Bangla rail link in 2013. The trial run was completed successfully on October 30, when a locomotive engine entered Tripura and stopped at Nischintapur, a newly built railway station. A lot is riding on the new rail link which is expected to also benefit India's northeastern states by improving regional connectivity, tourism, trade, and economic activity.

Shorter Travel Time

The northeast is a treasure trove of discoveries, from offbeat towns to cultural heritage to hidden adventure spots. At the moment, accessing the northeast is a long task due to the land route. If you take the train from Kolkata to Tripura's capital Agartala, it is a long and complicated trip of around 38 hours through northern West Bengal to Guwahati in Assam, and then to Tripura. The cross-border rail link will significantly shorten travel time and distance between the northeastern states and Kolkata, from 1,600 kilometres to 500 km through Bangladesh. This will open up travel to the northeast and make it much easier to access.

The Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link will take trains from Kolkata to Agartala via Bangladesh, which is located in the heart of the land mass connecting India's northeast and the rest of the country. The 15 km rail link will drastically cut travel time between Agartala and Kolkata. It is projected that the journey time between Kolkata and Tripura will be reduced to 10 hours.

Good For Trade

With the introduction of the new link, businesses in the region will thrive because the rail link will also allow goods trains to travel to the northeastern region at a significantly lesser cost via Bangladesh. It will also provide a direct link between the landlocked northeast and the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh.

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