Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated three Indian-assisted development projects via video conferencing yesterday.
Bangladesh and India have established a rail link via Tripura in the northeast after a gap over seven decades. The Akhaura- Agartala cross-border rail link will greatly reduce travel time between, for example, Kolkata and Agartala and improve trade.
Here's your top-5 cheatsheet on the rail link
Currently, travelling from Kolkata to Tripura's capital Agartala by train takes passengers on a long, circuitous route via northern West Bengal to Guwahati in Assam. The route then turns southwards towards Tripura. The travel time is approximately 38 hours.
With the Akhaura- Agartala cross-border rail link operational, trains can run from Kolkata to Agartala via Bangladesh, as the neighbouring country is located in the middle of the land mass between India's northeast and the rest of the country, connected only by a small corridor in Bengal's Siliguri popularly known as the "Chicken's Neck".
The travel time will be cut to 12 hours from the earlier, much longer 38 hours. This is expected to increase passenger football massively. People who avoided travelling on this route due to the sheer distance will find the new route much practical and convenient.
Not only passengers, but businesses will also thrive in the region as trains can carry much heavier and bulkier cargo in huge quantities. The length of the rail link is 12.24 km with a 6.78 km dual gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura.