Apr 12, New Delhi: An Indian central government minister has said that India and Sri Lanka could soon finalize an agreement for building a bridge connecting the two countries.
The Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has said on Monday that the project is under consideration, according to an IANS report.
“The project is under consideration, it is under discussion. But nothing has been finalized,” Mr Gadkari was quoted as telling journalists at the Foreign Correspondents Club in New Delhi on Monday.
He said discussions have been held on the issue with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The issue had been discussed in Sri Lankan parliament as well.
Sri Lanka is also “interested” in the project, he said, adding that even the Asian Development Bank has made a recommendation to that effect.
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 Indian minister said last year. “The Asian Development Bank is ready to fully finance a bridge building project connecting Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka. The project was also discussed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his counterpart during the latter’s recent visit,” Gadkari said last year.
However, Sri Lankan Prime Minister last month said that no formal talks between India and Sri Lanka have started yet on the project.