Agartala-Akhaura railway project likely to be delayed


Agartala: The much awaited AgartalaAkhaura international railway project to connect Bangladesh railway track with North East Frontier Railways is likely to be delayed by nine months, according to an assessment by IRCON International Ltd, the nodal organisation for the project.

The railway link connects Gangasagar in Bangladesh to Nischintapur in India (10.6 km) and from Nischitapur to Agartala railway station (5.46 Kms).

The project was scheduled to be completed in December 2020 and its status report, which was made available here on Friday, said the date is no likely to be September 2021.

The report quoting Yogesh Kumar Mishra, the director of IRCON International Ltd which is one of the executing agencies of the project, said the construction work from Gangasagar to Nischintapur may be completed by September 2020.

But the work from Ninschintapur to Agartala Railway situation is likely to be completed by September 2021.

IRCON International joint general manager H K Singh said the cause of delay on the Indian side is due to the soil condition and the construction of a 3.1 km long viaduct.

The condition of the soil is not very favourable for laying the track near Nischintapur on the Indian side. It(the soil) is marshy and soft, so we are doing many kinds of treatments … We have to build a viaduct, which is also difficult. So the project will be delayed , Singh said.

The DoNER ministry is bearing the cost of laying the railway track from Agartala to Nischintapur and the Ministry of External Affairs from the border to Gangasagar in Brahmanberia district of Bangladesh.

The cost for laying the railway tracks between Agartala to Nischintapur is Rs 580 crore and the executing agency is IRCON International Ltd. Rs 217.63 crore has been released for it and Rs 140.73 crore has been spent on it as on 31st July 2019.

The cost of laying the railway tracks between Nischanitapur to Gangasagar is Rs 392 crore and the executing agency is Texmaco Rail and Engineering Ltd. The entire fund of Rs 80.93 crore released for it was used as on the date.

The overall progress of construction work on the Bangladesh side is slow as initially land was not available and construction materials at Benpole were stopped by Bangladesh government, the report said. (PTI)