• A decade after India and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up the first Indo-Bangla international railway connectivity in NE India in 2013, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina recently jointly inaugurated the project from New Delhi and Dhaka, respectively.
  • The Agartala-Akhaura project will cut down the travel time between Agartala and Kolkata too, from 31 hours to 10 hours.
  • The project is expected to boost tourism, trade, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Agartala-Akhaura Railway project

  • In the 12.24-km Agartala-Akhaura railway line, 5.46 kilometers lie on the Indian side in Tripura and 6.78 km in the Akhaura upa-zilla in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh.
  • The train will start from Agartala and move to Nischintapur, on the Indian-Bangladesh border, where the immigration checks will be held. The first station on the Bangladesh side will be Gangasagar.
  • The entire project cost is being funded by India. The Ministry for Development of the North East Region (DoNER) funded the work on the Indian side, and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) funded the expense for the Bangladesh side as ‘Aid to Bangladesh’.
  • The Indian Railway Construction International Limited (IRCON), a public sector undertaking (PSU) under the Indian Railways, did the work on the Indian side, and Texmaco, a private Indian firm, implemented the work on the Bangladesh side. A land area of 86.85 acres was acquired for the project on the Indian side and handed over to IRCON.


  1. Tripura shares an 856-km international border with Bangladesh, the second highest after West Bengal.
  2. The north-eastern state is surrounded by the country on all three sides except Assam on the fourth.
  3. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and the creation of Bangladesh, Tripura, a state that then had only 14 lakh people, sheltered nearly 15 lakh East Pakistan refugees.
  4. It ran at least eight major muktijoddha (liberation warrior) training camps. With the new connectivity project, people on both sides can now hope for closer and smoother ties.

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