New Delhi: The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for laying of 15.06 km long tracks to connect Indian Railways with Bangladesh through the North East.
"We were informed by the Centre on Saturday that it has sanctioned Rs 580 crore for acquiring land and laying of five km long tracks on the Indian side," state transport Secretary Samarjit Bhowmik said on Sunday.
The External Affairs Ministry had earlier sanctioned Rs 400 crore to Bangladesh for acquiring land and laying of about ten km long track on the Bangladesh side, he said.
The project would be completed by 2017, Bhowmick said, adding, an elevated corridor would be constructed for covering 3.7 km length of the route.
He said, IRCON would construct the entire route and other works as it has experience of working in Bangladesh. The 15.06 km long track would connect Agartala with Akhaura railway junction in Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina discussed on the issue during the former's visit to Dhaka on June 6-7 and India would fund the entire project, Bhowmick said.
State Transport minister Manik Dey said completion of the project would reduce the distance from Agartala to Kolkata from 1,650 km to 515 km and difficult hilly terrain could be avoided.
"This will improve trade and commerce between Bangladesh and India's North East and enhance people to people contact," he added.