India and Bhutan to Build Railway Link to Promote Tourism

India's commitment to modernizing railway infrastructure in the northeastern region is set to make the Bhutan-India railway link a reality. This article explores the ambitious project, diplomatic efforts, and the potential it holds for trade and cultural exchange between the two nations.
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The Government of India’s recent allocation of Rs 120 billion towards the expansion and modernization of railway infrastructure in the northeastern region of the country has ignited hopes for the long-anticipated Bhutan-India railway link, as reported by Bhutan Live on Saturday.

India-Bhutan Railway Link on the Horizon

Bhutan Live disclosed details of the fully funded Indian government’s ambitious project, which entails the construction of a 57.5-kilometre railway line connecting Kokrajhar in Assam to Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan.

With an estimated budget of Rs 10 billion, the project is will boost the eagerly awaited first-ever Bhutan-India railway link, which is expected to be completed by 2026.

Here are some of the benefits of the Bhutan-India railway link:

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  • Increased trade and tourism between the two countries
  • Improved connectivity and cooperation between India and Bhutan
  • Boost to the local economy
  • Creation of jobs
  • Reduction of travel time and costs

Additional Project Details

  • The railway line will adhere to a standard gauge track.
  • Two stations will be established, one in Kokrajhar and one in Gelephu.
  • Electrification will enable the railway to accommodate both passenger and freight traffic.
  • During the construction phase, the project is expected to generate over 10,000 job opportunities, contributing to local employment and prosperity.

Promising Diplomatic Efforts

The vision of this transformative railway connection was recently hinted at by India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, during discussions with Indian media.

He expressed, “We are currently in negotiations for a railway link between Bhutan and Assam. Bhutan is keen to open more avenues for tourism, and this endeavour promises to benefit Assam significantly. The proposed railway link between Gelephu and Kokrajhar, situated on the Assam border, could be a game-changer, promoting both trade and tourism.”

Years in the Making

The project to establish a railway link between Bhutan and India has been in the pipeline for several years, gradually gaining traction.

In 2018, a significant step was taken when the Bhutanese Prime Minister embarked on a visit to India, holding discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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During this meeting, both leaders reached a consensus to expedite the implementation of this transformative railway project.

Strengthening Bonds, Boosting Economies

The India-Bhutan Railway link represents more than just a transportation network. It stands as a symbol of the robust ties between these neighbouring nations. Beyond diplomacy, it holds the promise of economic growth.

This railway is a significant stride in the development of India’s northeastern region and is poised to stimulate the economies of both India and Bhutan.

The Bhutan-India railway link is a transformative initiative set to benefit these neighbouring nations in numerous ways, forging a brighter future for both.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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