$5.19 billion road project to begin by October
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$5.19 billion road project to begin by October

September 20, 2015   05:05 pm

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Keen on fostering ties with neighbours, India is set to engage in high-level talks with Sri Lanka by October for an ambitious $5.19 billion road project to connect both the nations through a sea-bridge and an underwater tunnel, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.


The development follows Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari meeting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week with plans to expand the existing motor pact with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal to other neighbouring countries. 


Secretary-level talks between India and Sri Lanka have been decided by October in the island nation to take forward the project involving construction of a sea bridge and under-water tunnel linking 22 km stretch between Talaimannar, Sri Lanka and Dhanushkodi, India, official sources said.


Multilateral funding agency ADB has already shown interest to finance the $5.19 billion project, sources said adding, the bank has already agreed to finance infrastructure projects worth $8 billion under Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement, aimed at providing seamless flow of traffic among the nations.


Secretary-level talks are proposed as per convenience of Sri Lanka for a pre-feasibility study and finance by ADB, sources said. 


“The officer level meeting will include apprising Sri Lanka about the developments related to implementing BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement. The pact aims at facilitating cross border movement of all types of vehicles in the region. Since there is a provision of other countries in the region joining the pact, Sri Lanka may like to consider this for further improving connectivity between the region,” an official said.  (PTI)

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