News List

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

Year:
June 2017

Electronic Cargo Tracking System to Improve India-Nepal Cargo Traffic and Security

An electronic tracking system will soon ease traffic-in-transit for cargo traveling by road and rail from Kolkata to four major Customs points of Nepal, including the Raxaul route. Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Customs Commissioner, India, and Mr. Rabi Shanker Sainju, Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary, Nepal, signed a memorandum of intent to pilot the tracking system for a trial period of at least 90 days in late 2017.

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Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System, ADB, SASEC, Nepal, India, BBIN, Customs, Road, Rail, Transport

January 2017

Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism Agrees to Expedite Project Implementation

The second meeting of the Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism, held on 30 January 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal, reviewed progress of India-funded economic and development projects in Nepal, and agreed to expedite implementation of these projects for timely completion. Projects discussed included cross-border railways, integrated check posts, and cross-border transmission lines.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Rail, Hydropower, Infrastructure, Transport, Energy

January 2017

Railway Network Linking India and its Neighbors Under Consideration

A railway network linking India and its neighboring countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal, is being considered by the Government of India, according to India Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Developing railway connectivity will increase employment, interaction, trade, and tourism.

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Tags: India, Rail, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Trade, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Tourism, Employment

December 2016

ADB to Fund Bangladesh 129-kilometer Dohazari-Gundum Railway Line

Bangladesh Railway has set out a 20-year plan in a bid to increase the transport body’s market share. The plan includes 235 railway projects at a cost of $30 billion. The country currently has 2,877 kilometers of railroads and has made plans to add another 375 kilometers. ADB will be funding the 129-kilometer Dohazari-Gundum railway line at a cost of $1.5 billion. Such projects are expected to boost economic growth in Bangladesh.

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Tags: Rail, Transport, Bangladesh, ADB

December 2016

SASEC Portfolio Tops $9 billion

The SASEC project portfolio has surpassed the $9 billion mark with the December 2016 approval of Nepal’s SASEC Roads Improvement Project, worth $256.5 million. There are now 44 SASEC investment projects worth a cumulative $9.13 billion. During 2016, seven projects have been approved for a total of $2.37 billion.

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Energy, Transport, Roads, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, ICT, Rail, Economic corridor, Connectivity

November 2016

Conference Highlights Deepening Economic Integration, Boosting Connectivity in South Asia

Nepal Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat urged conclusion of the SAARC Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment to deepen economic integration among South Asian countries, and emphasized the need to improve connectivity in the region at the inauguration of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the South Asian Network of Economic Research.

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Tags: SAARC, Transport, Rail, Road, Investment, Investments, Nepal

October 2016

India-Nepal Panel Formed to Implement Bilateral Projects

A high-level panel formed by the Governments of India and Nepal will work to address bottlenecks in infrastructure projects in Nepal funded by the Government of India—including hydropower projects, roads and railways—to ensure their timely completion.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Rail, Transport, Energy

October 2016

Land Acquisition for the Agartala-Akhaura Rail Project Begins in Bangladesh

The Governments of India and Bangladesh have begun the process of acquiring land in Bangladesh to build the new India-Bangladesh railway project. The 15 kilometer (km) railway will connect Agartala (India) to Akhaura (Bangladesh), and reduce the 1,613-km mountainous distance between Agartala and Kolkata to 514 km.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Transport, Rail

September 2016

ADB Approves $1.5 Billion Railway Project for Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank has approved a multitranche loan of $1.5 billion to the Government of Bangladesh for construction of a key section of the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar railway line—the largest ever investment in railways by ADB. The new line will improve Bangladesh’s access to Myanmar and beyond, facilitate trade, and boost tourism in southeastern Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Rail, Connectivity, Transport, Trade, Tourism

September 2016

India to Provide Rail Link to Bhutan

As part of the Government of India’s Act East Policy, Indian Railways is set to provide a rail link to Bhutan to boost ties with its South Asian neighbors. Feasibility studies have been conducted for extended links between Kokrajhar-Gelephu, Rangiya-Samdrupjonkhar, Banarhat-Samtse, and Pathsala-Nanglam. India’s Northeast Frontier Railway has also undertaken survey work for rail connectivity to Nepal and Bangladesh.

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Tags: India, Bhutan, Rail, Transport

August 2016

Bangladesh to Develop Rail Corridors to Facilitate BBIN Trade

Bangladesh is pushing for the development of railway corridors with India to facilitate trade and investment among BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) countries. To help boost regional trade, Bangladesh Railway is looking to revive five routes to India, and build railway links to connect with Bhutan and Nepal.

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Tags: Transport, Rail, Bangladesh, India, BBIN

August 2016

Connectivity with Bangladesh Integral to India’s Act East Policy

India is upbeat on India-Bangladesh bilateral relations, particularly on connectivity and bilateral trade. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of lndia to Bangladesh, emphasized at a Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting, that Bangladesh is integral to India’s Act East Policy and noted the many efforts to link the two countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Bilateral Trade, Transport

July 2016

India, Bangladesh Railway Ministers Lay Foundation Stone for the Agartala-Akhaura Railway Link

Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Bangladeshi Railway Minister Mazibul Hoque jointly laid the foundation stone for the 15 kilometer (km) Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway project. This rail link reduces the Agartala-Kolkata distance from 1,613 km to 514 km.

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Tags: Rail, India, Bangladesh, Transport

June 2016

India to Roll Out Agartala-Akhaura Broad Gauge Railway Service

The 15-kilometer broad gauge rail service from Agartala, India to Akhaura, Bangladesh is set to be inaugurated in June 2016. Funded by the Government of India, the railway project will reduce the 1,650-km distance between Agartala and Kolkata to 550 km and is foreseen to boost bilateral trade and business between the two neighboring countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Bilateral Trade, Transport

April 2016

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Railway Agreement Proposed to Boost Multimodal Connectivity

A railway agreement in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion is being proposed, in line with expansion of railway links boosting connectivity between India's Northeast and its BBIN neighbors. According to Mr. Mukul Kumar, Director (Transport), Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, this initiative will facilitate cross-border transport of goods and people, and enable efficient multimodal transport system to integrate and sustain the region's economic growth.

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Tags: BBIN, Rail, Transport, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

April 2016

Bangladesh's ECNEC Approves Budget to Upgrade Trans-Asia Railway Link

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) of Bangladesh approved an updated budget of around $2.3 billion for the 129.6 kilometer Dohazari-Ramu-Cox's Bazar dual gauge railway project. The proposed railway track will be linked to the Trans-Asian Railway, connecting Bangladesh to India and Myanmar.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Rail, Transport

February 2016

Tongi-Bhairab Double Rail Track Inaugurated

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally opened Bangladesh Railway’s 64-kilometer Tongi-Bhairab double-rail track on the Dhaka-Chittagong route, which is expected to speed up rail travel between Dhaka and Chittagong by at least an hour and a half. The Asian Development Bank funded the $162.5 million project through the SASEC program.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Rail, Transport

January 2016

Bangladesh-India Railway Links Top Priority for the Government of India

Indian Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha led a two-day visit to the northeastern state of Tripura to inaugurate its trial broad gauge passenger train, and review progress of ongoing railway projects, including the Agartala-Akhaura railway project, which connects the rail networks of Bangladesh and India, and Agartala-Sabroom, a future connecting point for Chittagong port in Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Transport

October 2015

Historic Opportunity to Link South and Southeast Asia: ADB Brief

Regional integration between South and Southeast Asia remains relatively limited, hindered by various problems, including bottlenecks in transport infrastructure. Enhancements in road, railways, and port infrastructure, as well as new road and rail links between Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Thailand will lower unit transport costs, reduce shipping times, and increase the quantity of goods, all of which will lead to increased trade.

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Tags: Transport, Trade Facilitation, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Rail, Ports

October 2015

Bhutan Prime Minister and West Bengal Chief Minister Revive Talks on Indo-Bhutan Railway

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay renewed their commitment to pursue the Golden Jubilee Railway line from Hasimara, India to Bhutan during the Chief Minister's call to Prime Minister Tobgay on 5 October 2015. Both sides agreed to review the railway project, and examine ways to resolve land-related issues.

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Tags: Bhutan, India, Transport, Rail

September 2015

ADB Scales Up Financing for Preparation of Subregional Transport Projects in Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank has approved additional financing for a SASEC transport project that supports preparation of high-priority railway and road projects in Bangladesh along the Trans-Asian Railway and the Asian Highway network. These transport projects will enhance cross-border traffic, expanding connectivity in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal subregion and forming links between South Asia and Southeast Asia.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Transport, Rail, Ports, BBIN

July 2015

Indian Government Approves India-Bangladesh Rail Link

The Indian Government sanctioned about $155.8 million to lay a 15.06-kilometer (km) section of railtracks, connecting Indian Railways with Bangladesh through the North East. This India-funded Agartala-Akhaura railway junction in Bangladesh would reduce the distance from Agartala to Kolkata from 1,650 km to 515 km, avoid mountainous terrain, improve trade and commerce, and enhance connectivity.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail

June 2015

SASEC Railway Connectivity Project Facilitates Subregional Connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to further enhance transport connectivity within Bangladesh, and between Bangladesh and India, through the SASEC Railway Connectivity: Akhaura-Laksam Double Track Project. This $505 million ADB project will upgrade critical sections of Bangladesh Railway's Dhaka-Chittagong corridor and boost its market share in freight services.

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Tags: Transport, Bangladesh, Rail, India

May 2015

Relief and Rehabilitation Efforts in India-Nepal Border Towns, through Partnership with Nepal Forum

More than 170 tons of relief goods was sent by India to Nepal using the rail route from Old Delhi to Raxaul, in response to the earthquake in Nepal. Senior officials of India's National Disaster Management Authority supervised this relief effort. India's West Bengal Government also gave assistance by coordinating needed relief items with the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Army.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Transport, Rail

March 2015

Bangladesh-India Second Railway Link

Bangladesh and India moved to establish a second cross-border railway link through Akhaura-Agartala to boost bilateral trade and business. The dual-gauge railway track to be funded by the Government of India will connect with the North-Eastern States of India and become the second effective railway corridor of the two neighboring countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail

October 2014

Fourth Session of UNESCAP's Transport Committee Focuses on Sustainable Development

Integrating sustainable development into the Asia-Pacific region's transport sector was a key focus of the Fourth Session of the Transport Committee organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The event, held on 15-17 October 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, was attended by over 120 participants from 34 countries, and discussed key aspects of transport policy and initiatives promoted by ESCAP.

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Tags: Rail, Transport, UNESCAP

October 2014

Reconstruction of Pallai-Jaffna Rail Line Restores Connectivity to India, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa marked the completion of the 38 km long Pallai-Jaffna railway line under the Indian credit line of $800 million last 13 October 2014. The reconstruction of this Northern Railway line by IRCON International Ltd, a public sector enterprise under the Government of India, links Sri Lanka’s conflict-ridden Northern Province to Colombo.

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Tags: India, Transport, Rail