India’s Secret Plan Unveiled: India Bhutan Rail Link: BBIN Initiative

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“India’s Incredible Gift to Bhutan: A Railway Link Set to Redefine Connectivity! Shortly, traveling from India to Bhutan by direct train route will become a reality. In a historic breakthrough, India has unveiled an ambitious plan for Bhutan’s first-ever rail connection!” Discover more about India Bhutan Rail Link.

India Bhutan Rail Link BBIN Initiative

India Bhutan Rail Link: Railway Expansion in Bhutan

  • Indian Railways plans to construct a 57km broad-gauge railway line connecting Kokrajhar in India to Gelephu in Bhutan.
  • The estimated cost of the project is Rs 10 billion (approximately $129.9 million).
  • This project marks the first railway construction in Bhutan.
  • It is part of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) initiative to extend India’s rail network to neighboring countries.
  • The project is set to be completed by 2026.
Read Also: Vijayawada Railway Station gets ‘Green Railway Station Certification’: Key Points 

BBIN Initiative

  • The BBIN initiative aims to enhance connectivity and trade among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
  • A BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) master plan for transport connectivity for BBIN countries was unveiled recently.

Bhutan-India Collaboration

  • Representatives from the Indian and Bhutanese governments have met to discuss the construction of five railway lines outlined in a 2005 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.
  • Bhutan has requested a rail link from Chilahati in Bangladesh to Haldibari in the Indian state of West Bengal, which would facilitate the transport of construction materials from Bangladesh to Bhutan.
Read Also: What are Pink Railway Stations In India? Key Facts, Railway Current Affairs

Chinese Rail Development in the Region

  • China’s rapid rail and road construction activities in the northern border regions have spurred India’s railway expansion.
  • China has built railways along its border with Arunachal Pradesh, and India is concerned about the proximity of these projects to its territory.

Indian Rail Expansion

  • India has been expanding its rail network in the northeastern region, connecting Arunachal Pradesh to the Indian Railways network in 2014.
  • In 2019, the Indian government approved several railway projects in Arunachal Pradesh, further boosting connectivity in the region.
Read Also: India’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train with Important Facts

Cross-Border Rail Lines

  • Progress is being made on various cross-border rail lines, including the Jaynagar – Kurta section of the Jaynagar – Bijalpura – Bardibas rail link inaugurated by the Indian and Nepalese prime ministers.
  • Other projects include the Agartala-Akhaura railway line connecting India to Bangladesh and the Jogbani-Biratnagar route between India and Nepal.

India Bhutan Rail Link Project in a Nutshell

ProjectDetails
India-Bhutan Rail Link• Kokrajhar (Assam) to Gelephu (Bhutan) Railway Line
• 57km broad-gauge railway line.
• Estimated cost: Rs 10bn ($US 129.9m).
• Construction to start next year.
• Bhutan’s first railway.
• The project is set to be completed by 2026.
BBIN Initiative• India’s plan to extend the rail network to neighboring countries.
• Part of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) initiative.
India-Bhutan Collaboration• Discussions to expedite construction of five railway lines.
• Bhutan’s request for a rail link from Chilahati (Bangladesh) to Haldibari (West Bengal).
India-Nepal Rail Link• Inauguration of the Jaynagar – Kurta section of the Jaynagar – Bijalpura – Bardibas rail link.
Cross-Border Rail Projects• Discussions to expedite the construction of five railway lines.
• Bhutan’s request for a rail link from Chilahati (Bangladesh) to Haldibari (West Bengal).
Read Also: Indian Railway Current Affairs One-liners with Major Key Points 

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