India-Bhutan railway link boosted by Northeastern rail expansion

The Government of India’s allocation of Rs 120 billion for extensive railway infrastructure expansion in the northeastern region is set to accelerate the long-awaited Bhutan-India railway link. The fully-funded project, estimated at Rs 10 billion, will span 57.5 kilometers, connecting Kokrajhar in Assam with Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan, with a targeted completion date in 2026.

India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, recently mentioned ongoing discussions between India and Bhutan regarding this transformative railway connection. The project has the potential to facilitate trade, cultural exchange, and strengthen bilateral ties, marking a significant development in regional connectivity.

This railway link was initially discussed during the Bhutanese Prime Minister’s 2018 visit to India and formalised in a 2005 Memorandum of Understanding. As progress continues, the Bhutan-India railway link signifies a new era of connectivity and cooperation between the two nations.

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