Railways Current Affairs

Government sanctions Rs.580 crore for Agartala-Akhaura rail link Project

Union Government has sanctioned about 580 crore rupees for Agartala-Akhaura railway link Project to connect Kolkata (West Bengal) with Tripura via Bangladesh.

The sanctioned fund will be used for the laying of the five km railway track up to Bangladesh border from Agartala. It is

Agartala-Akhaura Railway Link Project

  • It is 15 km long strategic railway route that would connect the Indian Railways with the Bangladesh Railways. The work on this project is expected to complete by 2017.
  • Of the 15 km strategic railway track, 10 km falls in the Bangladesh side and the rest 5 km falls in India.
  • It was initiated after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in January 2010 when both countries had agreed to lay the railway track.

Comment

This project will play important role in India’s ‘Act East’ Policy and is expected to improve connectivity and boost trade between the two countries. It will also reduce the current 1700 km road distance between Kolkata to Agartala via narrow Chicken Neck Siliguri corridor to just 350 km by railway.

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Chhattisgarh inks MoU with Indian Railways to form Joint Venture Company

Chhattisgarh Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Railway to form a joint venture (JV) company for the expansion of railway tracks in the state.

With this Chhattisgarh became 5th state to join hands with the Indian Railways for speedy execution of rail projects through JV route.

Key facts

  • Under the MoU, state government will have 51% share and Indian Railways will have remaining 49% share in the JV company.
  • The proposed company will identify viable rail projects in the state and implement them. It will help state to meet is needs of connectivity and infrastructure development.
  • This company is free to raise capital from the market to fund the works.

Background

  • This MoU was signed as part of the rail infrastructure development plan of Indian Railways and shall lay around 762 km-long rail line in the state.
  • Presently, Chhattisgarh has 1,187-km long railway line network which is less than half of the national average of rail density.
  • So far, 17 state governments have consented to formation of joint venture companies with Indian Railways for development of rail infrastructure.

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