New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) There has been no work to set up a rail link between Tripura’s capital Agartala and Bangladesh due to high cost of land on the Indian side, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
India and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on February 16, 2013, to build a rail link between Agartala and Akhaura, located in Bangladesh’s Brahmanbaria district.
“This project is presently at standstill because of sharp increase in cost of land for the sections in India,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Detailing the existing rail links between India and Bangladesh, the minister said the Maitree Express is running between Kolkata and Dhaka Cantonment on the Gede (India)-Darsana (Bangladesh) route.
Rail services have also been operational for interchange of goods traffic on the Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh) route since 1972 and on the Petrapole (India)-Benapole (Bangladesh) route since 1992.
Services on the Radhikapur (India)- Birol (Bangladesh) route have not been operational since April 1, 2005, as gauge conversion work on the Bangladesh side was yet to be completed, Sinha stated.
The Mahisasan (India)- Shahbazpur (Bangladesh) route has also been non-operational since December 1996 due to breaches and lack of traffic.