India and Bhutan are working on a new railway link that will allow people to travel between the two countries by train. Bhutan is very important to India for trade, with 98% of India’s exports and 90% of its imports coming from Bhutan. This new train connection will make trade between the two countries even better.
The Indian government has set aside a large amount of money, INR 120 billion, to improve the train system in the northeastern part of India. This is a big step towards making a long-awaited train connection between India and Bhutan, a reality.
The plan is to build a 57.5-kilometer-long train track that will connect a place called Kokrajhar in Assam, India, to Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan. They hope to finish this project by 2026, and it will make it much easier for people to travel and do business in the region.
Just a month ago, India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, talked about how India and Bhutan are working together to make this train connection happen. He said that Bhutan wants more tourists to visit, and this train will help people from Assam go there easily.
This new train link between Gelephu and Kokrajhar, which are near the Assam border, could be a big deal. It will make it easier for people to trade and travel, and it could lead to more train projects in the southern and eastern parts of both countries.
The train services on this route will be run by the Northeastern Frontier Railways.
The idea of a train connection between Bhutan and India has been around since 2005. In 2005, both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make this train network happen.