The Government of India is in talks with the Bhutanese regime over the rail link between Bhutan and Assam, informed External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on August 7. The union minister added that Bhutan is keen to open up more places for tourists and that the rail link is advantageous for Assam as well.
To be completed by 2026, the 57-km railway line will be the first railway connection between India and Bhutan. The Indian government will fund the project. Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said in April that the Bhutan government will first work on this project, and later look at connecting other regions like Samtse, Phuentsholing, Nganglam, and Samdrupjongkhar.
Dr S Jaishankar said that the government is also looking to conclude the coastal shipping agreement with Myanmar this year. He, however, added that the Myanmar Trilateral highway is a big challenge due to the law-and-order situation in the country.
The Myanmar Trilateral highway is an initiative that will connect India, Thailand and Myanmar. India is undertaking the construction of two sections of this highway in Myanmar. It will construct a 120.74 km Kalewa-Yagyi road section and 69 bridges along the approach road of the 149.70 km Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa road section.