On the Independence day of Bangladesh, the Indian and Bangladesh governments decided to introduce a passenger train service from March 26 between New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri, India to Dhaka in Bangladesh. This will be the third passenger train after Maitree express and Bandhan express, running between the two friendly neighbourhood countries.
The Prime Ministers of both countries will jointly inaugurate the passenger train service, informed the officials.
On February 21, an eight-member team headed by Mohammed Shahidul Islam, Divisional Railway Manager(DRM), Paksey, Bangladesh reached Siliguri, exchanged talks with the railway officials led by Rabinder Kumar Verma, DRM, Katihar, Northeast Frontier Railway(NFR). Later, they also jointly visited the Haldibari-Chilahati route that resumed after a gap of over 55 years.
Rabinder Kumar Verma, DRM, Katihar, Northeast Frontier Railway(NFR) said: “A new passenger bi-weekly train having ten number of coaches will be started from New Jalpaiguri for Dhaka, Bangladesh. The delegations were discussed on various items including custom and immigration facilities in the two days long meeting. Verma said that this will boost up both the countries economical condition and tourism in Siliguri.
Shahidul Islam, Divisional Railway Manager(DRM), Paksey, Bangladesh said, “Bangladesh and India have a very good friendship and relation since the Independence of Bangladesh.” He said people of Bangladesh had problems of communication and they always urged for communications through roads and railway links with India. Following the issues, the Bangladesh government reconnected broken links with India. It will take nine hours from Dhaka to Siliguri. He also informed that their government is also planning to start railway services with Nepal and Bhutan in near future.
Welcoming the railway initiative, Jayanta Basak, a resident of Siliguri said, people of Siliguri can go to Bangladesh directly. He said that they have now two options to reach Bangladesh via train service.
At present, there are four rail links that are between India and Bangladesh. These are Petrapole-Benapole, Gede-Darshana, Singhabad-Rohanpur, Radhikapur-Birol and Haldibari-Chilahati will be the fifth link with Bangladesh.