New Delhi — Advocating rail connectivity between countries in South Asia, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said India was working on developing connectivity with Kathmandu from New Delhi and Kolkata on priority basis.

Prabhu said the government was also exploring possibility of developing connectivity between India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Speaking on the opening day of the two-day meeting on “Strengthening Railway Transport Connectivity in South and South West Asia”, Prabhu said better rail connectivity would boost economy in the region and would also help in poverty alleviation.

The event, organised by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in coordination with the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD) and the Railway Ministry, will explore the way forward to establish rail connectivity from Dhaka to Istanbul.

The minister said international rail transport proposals of ESCAP assume special significance especially the proposal of an Istanbul to Dhaka rail route, also known as the ITI-DKD rail corridor.

“India hosts an important segment of this rail route. The most important feature of this proposal is that while this main rail corridor traverses the length of Southern Asia, it offers multimodal linkages with neighbouring sub regions, particularly catering to the transit requirements of landlocked countries of our neighbourhood,” Prabhu added.


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