India considering road and rail link to Sri Lanka across Palk Strait

Thursday, 18 June 2015 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

India’s Central Government is considering building a road and rail link to Sri Lanka across the Palk Strait to enhance transport between the two countries, according to an Indian media report.

A proposal for providing road and rail link bridging the divide across Palk Strait has already been submitted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), for a pre-feasibility study and subsequent financing, the DNA news agency reported quoting the Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari.

Following the inauguration of Agartala-Dhaka bus service and signing of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal motor vehicle agreement, the Centre is also looking at connecting India and Sri Lanka, Gadkari has said on Tuesday.

The road connectivity, built across Palk Strait, could possibly be a combination of a sea-bridge and underwater tunnel. The underwater tunnel will also allow movement of ships through it.

“The distance between Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram and the Sri Lankan boundary is about 23 kilometers. A sea-bridge would help in increasing the trans-SAARC road and transport network,” said Gadkari.

Dhanushkodi, situated south-east of Pamban town is only about 29 kilometers away from Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka, the town closest to the Indian land border.

Currently, the missing link of narrow corridor of about 23 kilometers is serviced through makeshift ferry service transport.

“At current estimates, the project would cost us Rs. 23,000 crore,” the Union Minister has said.

Along with the India-Sri Lanka road link, the Indian Government is also looking to connect north-east to Thailand via Myanmar.