AGARTALA: The much-anticipated trial run of the rail link bridging Tripura’s Nischintapur with Bangladesh’s Gangasagar railway station is expected around September 9 or 10, an official told the local press on Wednesday.
Initially, the rail link will see the introduction of goods trains plying and in the subsequent phases, the connectivity will be stretched further to Agartala station, he informed.
Earlier on August 26, P Kumaran, the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), undertook a visit to the Nischintapur railway yard. His visit included a pivotal meeting with railway authorities and IRCON representatives. Stakeholders from the BSF, Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), Customs, Immigration, and National Informatics Centre (NIC) also partook in this meeting, emphasising the cross-departmental interest and involvement in this project.
A subsequent visit on August 27 saw Kumaran, along with Tripura Transport Secretary U K Chakma and accompanying railway officials, explore the premises of Gangasagar in Bangladesh. The day’s exploration included a brief trial ride from Gangasagar to Nischintapur.
Detailing the meeting’s purpose, the official was quoted as saying, “Kumaran’s visit was primarily to gauge the readiness for the launch of the Indo-Bangla railway link bridging Nischintapur and Gangasagar. The MEA is steering this project, targeting the debut of goods trains on either September 9 or 10.”
However, before the full commissioning of even the goods trains, several pivotal facilities, including Customs, Immigration, Internet services, and heightened security, need to be established, he added. The MEA is reportedly collaborating closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs to set up Customs and Immigration services at Nischintapur.
Construction agencies on both sides of the border, IRCON for India and TexMaco Rail Engineering for Bangladesh, have signalled their readiness for the inaugural trial of goods trains on the newly laid tracks connecting Gangasagar to Agartala.
The colossal Indo-Bangla railway project, touted as a milestone in strengthening cross-border ties, has seen an investment of approximately Rs 1,100 crore, seamlessly connecting Agartala with Gangasagar.