Agartala Akhaura rail link vital for ‘Act East’, more dev projects inaugurated in Tripura, ET TravelWorld

Likely to be inaugurated by the end of this year, the Agartala Akhaura Railway link project would prove to be a game-changer and boost trade, tourism, and cultural ties between India and Bangladesh, said Union Tourism, DoNER & Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy during his two day visit to Tripura.

The minister who visited the Nischintapur railway yard, which will connect Tripura with Akhaura in Bangladesh, to inspect the progress of work, said that this would accelerate economic progress across the region and promote tourism while curtailing the travel time between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka from 31 hours to 10 hours.

Once this ongoing rail link project is complete, the Northeastern part of India would be connected with Bangladesh via Tripura through railways. The progress review of the Agartala-Akhaura new rail link project by Reddy ensured that the project will be started very soon.

Reddy said the Agartala Akhaura Railway Project is vital to the Act East policy, adding that Northeast is India’s window to Southeast Asia and a fundamental pillar of this policy.

The objective of “Act East Policy”, as classified by the government, is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced connectivity to the North Eastern states with other countries.

The North East of India has been a top priority in the Act East Policy (AEP). The Minister also spoke about the launch of the Vibrant Village programme, which aims to ensure all-round development in border villages to establish them as hubs of growth, tourism and trade.

Vibrant Villages Programme launched at Kibithoo, 19 other districts identified

The programme, to be implemented in three phases, will promote tourism besides stopping migration from all the villages of the entire northern border. 2967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts along the northern border in Arunachal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh have been identified for development under Vibrant Villages Programme.

“The government has made significant strides in connectivity projects, with over INR 1.06 lakh crore invested in road projects, 78000 crores for railway connectivity and ongoing work on 121 railway projects. The number of airports in the NorthEast Region has also risen from nine in 2014 to 17 till date,” said Reddy.

Reddy also reviewed the implementation of central government schemes in Tripura with the Chief Minister and assured complete support to the state for ensuring their maximum coverage and saturation.

The working of the Ministry of Culture departments in the state was also reviewed by the minister who interacted with officials from regional offices of the Archaeological Survey of India, among others.

The projects inaugurated and laid the foundation for will not only enhance the region’s infrastructure but also help to boost tourism and create employment opportunities for the youth, said Reddy, while lauding the government’s commitment to the development and growth of the Northeast region in terms of tourism, culture and trade.

  • Published On Apr 14, 2023 at 09:41 AM IST

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