Agartala-Akhaura rail line to be completed soon
On Thursday, Minister of State for Co-operation and Development of North Eastern Region, B. L. Verma visited Agartala- Akhaura New Rail Link Project.
He was accompanied by Sriram Taranikanti, Principal Secretary/ Transport and SH. Apurva Roy, Secretary/ Planning. The inspecting team was welcomed at site by Senior officers from the implementing agency, Ircon International Limited, Sri Shri Vinod Kumar Gupta, CGM/ Works and Mr. Raman Singla, GM/IRCON.
A detailed project review was conducted by the Minister in the presence various higher officials of Central & State Govt. officials, Gupta along with his team gave a detail project brief to the Minister.
Gupta of Ircon explained that currently the rail route between Agartala to Kolkata is around 1600 Kms and takes around 38 Hours. Upon completion of Project, distance between Agartala to Kolkata can be reduced to around 500 Km (in about 16 Hours). Distance saving is 1100 KM and time saving is 22 Hrs.
Principal Secretary/ Transport informed the Minister that Tripura is a land locked state with no access to port connectivity and has to rely on road transportation for supply of goods. After the completion of the said project the state will have access to Chittagong port of Bangladesh and will result in reduction in cost of transportation of Goods.
This will help Tripura to be the Gate way of Seven Sister States. He further added that the new Railway line starts from Agartala Railway station and joins Railway network of Bangladesh Railway at Gangasagar Station. In Indian portion length of the project is 5.46 KM and Bangladesh portion 6,78 KM.
Mr. Singla gave a brief picture of the technical features of the project. The project is basically divided into two phases. Phase-1 Nischintapur Station Yard and Phase-II Viaduct connecting Agartala Station Yard to Nischintapur Station Yard. The work for Nischintapur Yard i.e. Phase-I of AANRLP Project is almost completed but the final commissioning of Phase-I of the project can be possible only when the Bangladesh portion of the project gets completed since Track in Bangladesh is of Meter Gauge and Meter Gauge Rolling Stock is not available with Indian Railways. The station building Nischintapur Station Yard is being constructed as a model building and will have facilities required for immigration and customs.
Upon enquiry by the visiting team, regarding cross country goods movement, GM/IRCON replied that the goods from Bangladesh shall be received in Line no. 3 & 4 (meter gauge) and thereafter transshipment of goods will be done to Line no. 5 & 6 (Broad Gauge) at Nischintapur Station Yard for onwards movement. In addition, Ircon are also providing a dedicated road connectivity in the Nischintapur Station Yard to facilitate movement of goods and passengers.
On further enquiry of the Minister regarding progress of the B’desh portion of the AANRLP Project, CGM/IRCON informed that the progress is dismal (only 50 %) due to poor performance of the executing agency which is being appointed by B’desh Railways..
GM/ IRCON also briefed Phase-II i.e. Viaduct connecting Agartala Railway Station to Nischintapur Yard i.e. Phase-II of the project. The piling work of Viaduct Substructure is nearing completion other works like Pile Cap, Pier & Pier Cap work is in progress as per schedule.
Minister expressed satisfaction regarding progress of the national importance project and instructed Railway & IRCON Official to strictly adhere to the revised time line of overall completion of works in Indian Side by June, 2022.
Minister also assured that there will be no constraint of funds for the project.