The Indian government is working on a project to build transport links with the neighbouring island of Sri Lanka, which would see a road lead from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu across the Palk Strait to Talaimannar in the North-East.
Speaking about providing millions of jobs across India in the transport sector, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the project to improve connections with the island was in the planning stages, and that the Asian Development Bank had pledged Rs 220bn ($3.5bn) towards it.
"ADB (Asian Development Bank) is ready to finance a [Rs 220bn] project for providing connectivity to neighbouring Sri Lanka. I had a discussion with the Vice President of ADB and they are ready to finance," Mr Gadkari said.
He said the gap between the island and India was only 22km and the proposed project will be a combination of a bridge and an underwater tunnel, which will allow for the unhindered movement of ships.
"We are working on the project and as soon as it is completed, Trans Asia Road and transport network could be extended to Sri Lanka," the minister said.
In June Mr Gadkari, said that a proposal for bridging the divide across the Palk Strait had been submitted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), for a pre-feasibility study and subsequent financing, however the Sri Lankan government said it has not held any discussions with India on this issue.
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