India and Bangladesh’s New Rail and Power Projects: A Path to Stronger Ties

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On November 1, 2023, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated three remarkable development projects aimed at bolstering connectivity and energy security between the two nations. In this article, we’ll explore these projects and understand their significance for both countries.

India and Bangladesh's New Rail and Power Projects

Akhaura–Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link

India and Bangladesh have taken a significant step towards strengthening their ties with the inauguration of the Akhaura–Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link. This rail link connects Agartala in the Indian state of Tripura with Akhaura in Bangladesh. Here’s what you need to know:

  • This 12.24 Km rail link consists of a 6.78 Km dual-gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 Km in Tripura.
  • Travel time between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka will be reduced from 31 hours to just 10 hours, making journeys faster and more efficient.
  • The project was entirely funded by the Indian government, providing a grant assistance of Rs 392.52 crore to Bangladesh.
  • This rail link is not just about transportation; it’s about promoting tourism, cross-border trade, and people-to-people exchanges. It’s a bridge of opportunities and friendships.

Akhaura–Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link in a Nutshell

Project NameAkhaura–Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link
Length of Rail Link12.24 Km
Dual-Gauge Rail Line (Bangladesh)6.78 Km
Dual-Gauge Rail Line (Tripura)5.46 Km
Travel Time ReductionFrom 31 hours to 10 hours
Funding SourceIndian Government (Rs 392.52 crore)
SignificancePromotes tourism, trade, and people-to-people exchanges

Khulna–Mongla Port Rail Line

The Khulna–Mongla Port Rail Line is a game-changer for Bangladesh. It’s a 65 Km broad gauge rail route that connects the Mongla Port to the rail network in Khulna. Let’s dive into the details:

  • The project integrates the Mongla Port, Bangladesh’s second-largest port, with the broader-gauge railway network.
  • A vital part of the project, the Rupsha Bridge (5.2 Km long), was completed in June 2022, connecting central and northern Bangladesh to the Indian border in West Bengal.
  • This rail line will enhance Bangladesh’s connectivity with its neighbors – India, Nepal, and Bhutan. It will connect Mongla Port and Siliguri in India, fostering trade and regional cooperation.
  • The project is part of India’s Line of Credit to Bangladesh, strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation.

Khulna–Mongla Port Rail Line in a Nutshell

Project NameKhulna–Mongla Port Rail Line
Rail Line Length65 Km
Rupsha Bridge Length5.2 Km
IntegrationConnects Mongla Port to Khulna’s rail network
Regional ConnectivityConnects Mongla Port to Siliguri in India, fostering trade and regional cooperation
Funding SourcePart of India’s Line of Credit to Bangladesh

Unit-II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant

The Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant is a symbol of India and Bangladesh’s collaboration in the energy sector. With the recent inauguration of Unit II, this project is lighting the way for a better future:

  • The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project is a 1320 MW (2×660) Super Thermal Power Plant in Khulna division, Bangladesh, financed under India’s Concessional Financing Scheme.
  • It’s a joint venture between India’s NTPC Limited and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
  • The operationalization of this power plant enhances energy security in Bangladesh, promoting development and prosperity.

Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant in a Nutshell

Project NameUnit-II of Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant
Power Plant Capacity1320 MW (2×660 MW)
LocationKhulna division, Bangladesh
PartnershipsJoint venture between NTPC Limited (India) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB)
FinancingIndia’s Concessional Financing Scheme
ImpactEnhances energy security in Bangladesh, promoting development and prosperity

The inauguration of these projects is not just about infrastructure; it’s about building stronger relationships, boosting trade, and creating opportunities for both India and Bangladesh. As these nations move forward hand in hand, their future looks brighter and more interconnected.


  • Akhaura–Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link connects Agartala in India with Akhaura in Bangladesh, reducing travel time.
  • Khulna–Mongla Port Rail Line integrates the Mongla Port with the broader-gauge railway network, enhancing connectivity with India and neighboring countries.
  • Unit II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant strengthens energy security in Bangladesh through cooperation with India.

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