Agartala :Six years after the finalisation of a new India-Bangladesh railway project, railway ministers of the two countries on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a Rs 968 crore vital rail link scheme.

Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mazibul Hoque jointly laid the foundation stone for the 15 km Agartala (India) – Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway project.

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The Agartala-Akhaura railway project was finalised in January 2010 when Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina met then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during her visit to New Delhi.

The project, which was sanctioned in the 2012-13 railway budget, would be a part of the Trans Asian Railway network and would provide a much shorter connectivity from northeastern states to Kolkata via Bangladesh.

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Suresh Prabhu said that on completion, the India-Bangladesh rail link project would be a gateway to the entire northeastern region, comprising eight states.