Darjeeling, Jan 20: The Centre is mulling linking neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal through the railways.
This was announced here today by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at a programme where an agreement was signed between the Indian Railways and UNESCO. "We have neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal. We have a very cordial relationship with them. We want to increase railway connectivity with these countries. We are trying to develop it," Prabhu told reporters.
"If a circuit can be made connecting these neighbouring countries, it will increase interaction, tourism, trade, employment and connectivity," he added. Prabhu said work was on to connect all the eight state capitals of the north-east, so that the tourism potential of the region gets a boost.
Horticulture, floriculture, handicraft of the region would get a bigger market after the state capitals are connected with the rest of the country, the railway minister said, adding that he would visit Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the next two days. Prabhu said investments of Rs 3-3.5 lakh crore would be made in the railways while the amount had been Rs 35,000-40,000 crore a year earlier. This will bring development in the functioning of the railways, he added.