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Business News/ News / India/  In a first, you can travel to Bhutan from India via railway. Details here

The India Government has allotted 120 Billion for the extensive expansion of railway infrastructure in the north eastern region. This move will facilitate the much awaited first-ever Bhutan-India railway link, Bhutan Live reported. 

The fully funded Indian government’s estimated 10 billion project of 57.5-kilometre railway line will connect Kokrajhar in Assam to Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan.

The project is set to be completed by 2026.

Just a month ago, India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, hinted at the ongoing discussions between India and Bhutan regarding this transformative railway connection. 

Speaking to Indian media, he stated, “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."

The railway project can act as a breakthrough in terms of facilitating the export of goods, enabling cultural exchange, and strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations.

The project gained momentum during the Bhutanese PM’s first visit to India in 2018. The commencement of the Gelephu-Kokrajhar rail link construction is expected to pave the way for more railway projects in the southern and eastern regions of both nations, including areas like Samtse, Phuentsholing, Nganglam, and Samdrupjongkhar.

Notably, Bhutan and India formalized their commitment to this transformative vision back in 2005 when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding, solidifying their shared aspiration to link the bordering towns of the two nations through a railway network. 

As the wheels of progress turn, this  Bhutan-India railway link inches closer to becoming a reality, heralding a new era of connectivity and cooperation.

India shares a 605 kilometres (376 mi) border with Bhutan and is its largest trading partner, accounting for 98 percent of its exports and 90 percent of its imports.

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Updated: 09 Sep 2023, 04:36 PM IST
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