Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three joint venture projects between Bangladesh and India. The projects are Akhaura-Agartala railway, Khulna-Mongla railway and second unit of Rampal power station.
As the cost of transporting goods by rail is low, new doors of import-export trade of the two countries will be opened.
The heads of government of the two countries inaugurated the three projects at 11:30 am on Wednesday, connecting virtually from the public buildings of Dhaka and Delhi.
The Akhaura-Agartala railway is 12.24 km long. This rail link connects Gangasagar railway station in Akhaura with Nishchintapur station in Agartala. The Bangladesh section of the railway is 6.78 kilometers long. The construction of this railway started in July 2018 as a joint initiative of Bangladesh and India.
On the other hand, the 65 km railway from Khulna to Bagerhat’s Mongla port will facilitate the transportation of goods to the port. The railway will facilitate the transportation of Mongla port goods within the country at affordable cost, facilitate trade with India, Nepal and Bhutan and contribute to regional economic growth.
Khulna-Mongla railway project started in September 2016.
The second unit of Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant Rampal will add 660 MW to the national grid. The two units of the Rampal thermal power plant, built in a joint venture between the two neighboring countries, have a total power generation capacity of 1,320 megawatts.
Railway Director General Engineer Kamrul Ahsan told Jugantar on Tuesday evening that experimental freight trains have been operated on that route several times before. Within a month of the inauguration, freight trains will be run at full speed on this route. Passenger trains will also run in phases as per the decision of the governments of the two countries. We want to use this route properly.
It is known that the distance from Agartala to Kolkata in India by train is about 1,600 km, which takes 31 to 36 hours to travel. Currently using the territory of Bangladesh from Agartala via Akhaura to Kolkata will reduce both the distance and time. It will take only 10 hours to reach Kolkata.
On the other hand, any product from Bangladesh by train can reach any state of India through Agartala. Similarly, Indian goods trains will reach their destinations via Agartala and Akhaura. Customs-immigration formalities have also started for the first time at Gangasagar railway station in Akhaura.