Rail Project Stalled By Increased Land Costs
The 15km Broad Gauge rail line project between India and Bangladesh, between Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura, Bangladesh is at a standstill.
The MoU for this Indo-Bangla Railway connectivity project was signed more than two years ago, on 16.02.2013, between the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh. Rahul Bhonsle, reporting at Security-risks.com, reports “About 5 Km length of the project falls in India & 10 Km falls in Bangladesh. Final Location Survey for both Indian as well as Bangladesh portions has been completed.”
Bhonsle says the reason for the stalled project is the sharp increase in the cost of land on the Indian section of the project.
Engineers now propose to reduce the amount of land needed, and therefore the cost, by constructing 3.7km of the line on a viaduct. The new proposal is now with the Tripura State Government.
This passenger rail project has no set completion date, because it is still in the initial stages.
Indo-Nepal Rail Projects
Bhonsle also reports two rail projects between India and Nepal are faring better than the Bangladesh project.
An 18.6 km project between Jogbani, in Bihar state, and Biratnagar in Nepal, already has acquired all but 1.8 Km of land in Nepal. 5.45 Km of this project is in India, and 13.60 km in Nepal. Some of the earthwork and bridge work is already in progress.
A gauge conversion project between Jaynagar in the Madhubani district of Bihar State, and Bijalpura, in Madhya Pradesh, with a 69 km extension to Bardibas, Nepal, is also progressing well. The final location Survey is complete, and the Bihar State Government already received the land plans.
Bijalpura is an important connection point in Madhya Pradesh. It lies on the holy Kamala River and has road and rail connections south to India’s main cities and north to Nepal.
In Nepal, 47km of the needed land for the rail project has been acquired, albeit in patches. Earthwork & bridgework are in progress in those stretches where land is available.
All of this information was provided by Shri Manoj Sinha, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways, in reply to a question about the rail projects in India’s upper house, the Rajya Sabha (Council of States).