The railway line will link Assam‘s Kokrajhar and Bhutan’s Gelephu, and is aimed at promoting trade and tourism between the countries.
India has allocated a substantial budget of INR 120 billion for an ambitious expansion of railway infrastructure in the northeastern region of the country. This financial commitment marks a pivotal step toward the realisation of a long-awaited milestone – the Bhutan-India railway link.
The project’s core involves the complete funding of a 57.5-km railway line that will seamlessly connect Kokrajhar in Assam, India, to Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan. Anticipated to be finished by 2026, this endeavour promises to reshape regional connectivity and economic prospects.
The proposed railway link between Gelephu and Kokrajhar, located on the Assam border, could be a game-changer, promoting both trade and tourism, he concluded.
If reports are to go by, this railway project can act as a breakthrough in terms of facilitating the export of goods, and will enable cultural exchange, and strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations.
Reportedly, the foundation for this visionary railway network was laid during the first visit of the Bhutanese Prime Minister to India in 2018. As the construction of the Gelephu-Kokrajhar rail link gets underway, it is expected to serve as a catalyst for additional railway initiatives in the southern and eastern regions of both nations, which will include areas such as Phuentsholing, Samtse, Nganglam, and Samdrup Jongkhar that will enhance connectivity and regional integration.
It’s imperative to note that Bhutan and India formally committed to this shared vision back in 2005 when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This commitment solidified their joint aspiration to create an extensive railway network connecting the towns along their shared border.
Going by the development, Bhutan-India railway link is likely to become a reality soon, ushering in a new era of connectivity and cooperation. Since Bhutan shares a 605 km border with India, it’s also the nation’s largest trading partner. This transformative railway project is poised to deepen the economic integration of both the countries, and also propel regional development to new heights.
Trending on TFN