Suresh Prabhu Inaugurates Agartala-Delhi Broad Gauge Rail Line

The foundation stone for the much awaited railway track to link Agartala to Akhoura in Bangladesh was laid.

The new Tripura Sundari Express from Agartala to New Delhi, during its flag inauguration ceremony. Credit: PTI

The new Tripura Sundari Express from Agartala to New Delhi, during its flag inauguration ceremony. Credit: PTI

Agartala: Tripura entered the broad gauge railway map of the country today with union railway minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurating the Agartala-New Delhi ‘Tripura Sundari Express’.

The foundation stone for the much awaited railway track to link Agartala to Akhoura in Bangladesh was jointly laid at the programme by Prabhu and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mujibul Haque.

‘Tripura Sundari Express’ will run once a week, on Sundays, and reach New Delhi in 47 hours after travelling via Guwahati and New Jalpaiguri. Rs 968 crore was spent for the Agartala-Delhi rail link.

Addressing the gathering, Prabhu said a regular train service between Agartala and Kolkata will start next month. “Kolkata is the cultural capital of the country and Tripura has a long historic connection with it,” he said.

On the Agartala-Akhoura railway link, Prabhu said it would be part of the trans-Asian rail connectivity.

“We are committed to bring connectivity with Bangladesh. The relation between India and Bangladesh is very cordial and they (Bangladesh) are cooperative in our initiative,” he said.

The rail track here would be extended to Sabroom, the southern-most town in Tripura, which is only 75 km from the Chittagong port in Bangladesh.

“Chittagong port is the best port in Asia. We want to connect an Indian railways track with Chittagong port through Sabroom,” Prabhu said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, is very keen to make the northeast region a tourist hub.

“We want to develop railway network in the entire northeast and want to make it a tourist hub. We want to bring Bangladesh into the same tourist circuit,” Prabhu said.

Speaking at the function, Haque said “We always respect the people of India for giving us support and shelter during our Liberation Movement. We want people-to-people contact. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked me to convey our love and respect to the people of India”.

Bangladesh has now decided to launch a new train between Khulna and Kolkata in addition to the Maitri Express train that plies between Dhaka and Kolkata.

Minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain said all northeast state capitals will be linked with railways by 2020 and work is already on in Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and members of his cabinet were present at the programme.

Acquisition of land for the Agartala-Akhoura rail link has already started and Rs 580 crore have been released from the ministry. The laying the 15.054 rail track will be completed by 2017. Of the total track, only five km will be on the Indian side and the rest in Bangladesh.

The agreement between the two countries on the rail link was signed during Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January 2010.

  • I m possible

    Urgent need is to connect Agartala to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai apart from Delhi and Kolkata to have more people to people connect and rapid economic upliftment of long neglected Agartala.

    How India’s GDP can grow when Northeast cities like Agartala continues to remain economically backward ?

    Left ruled Agartala has become 3rd Internet gateway and with a lameduck leadership unwilling and having poor understanding of Industry and technology, Tripura and its Youth’s future have been continuously ruined leaving a record 25.2% (highest in India) unemployment.

    It has been a long wait for Tripura and its youths who have been suffering everyday from chronic unemployment and concerned folks are just happy to mint Govt salary month after month with an excuse of unemployment is throughout country or no infrastructure. At whose cost please ?

    There are many instances of youths committing suicide out of utter frustration and hopelessness.

    With a record (highest in India) 25.2% of unemployment Left ruled Tripura continues to bite dust of under-development and non-performance due to state’s outdated policies of being anti development and industry without realizing world and India’s economy driven by Business and technology.

    So far it has been about Govt job, salary, subsidy – on tax payers money and mediocre plastic industry for name sake being the focus – which still fails to show hope to lakhs of educated unemployed youths!

    Urgent need is to bring high end industry and jobs at Agartala having follow up with Industry leaders and setting up required infrastructure on a war footing.

    With high speed internet and 24/7 power, Can capital Agartala look forward in 2016 to being an IT hub with high end IT jobs for 7 lakh educated unemployed youths of Trpiura ?

    • samiam

      You reap what you sow!! Frankly why would a BJP government spend money in Tripura when the people there are sure to return CPM MPs who will howl and disrupt parliament.

  • samiam

    Nonsense. Bangladesh is a liberal country. We need to spend more on Infrastructure and bring people together.