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Rebooting of Rail Link by India, Bangladesh

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June 01, 2022

Why in news?

Two years after they were stopped due to the Covid-19 outbreak, passenger train services between India and Bangladesh resumed.

What about the train services between the two country?

  • Maitree Express- The Maitree Express was introduced between Kolkata and Khulna via Petrapole and Benapole border route in 2008.
  • Bandhan Express- The Bandhan Express rail link between Kolkata and Khulna was served by the Barisal Express in 1965 which was later stopped due to the India-Pakistan war.
  • The route restarted with Bandhan in 2017.
  • Mitali Express- The Mitali Express will connect New Jalpaiguri in North Bengal with Dhaka.
  • This train was announced by PM Modi during his visit to Dhaka in 2021.
  • Haldibari-Chilahati rail link- In 2021, the two sides started regular movement of freight trains between the newly-restored link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in Bangladesh.
  • The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link between India and the then East Pakistan was also operational till 1965 and stopped due to the war.
  • This was part of the broad gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri at the time of Partition.

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What is the significance of rail infrastructure in the relationship of both the countries?

  • Policymakers on both sides view railways as an opportunity to deepen diplomatic ties using cross-border movements of goods and passengers.
  • Five rail links have so far been rebooted between India and Bangladesh.
    • Petrapole (India)-Benapole (Bangladesh)
    • Gede (India)- Darshana (Bangladesh)
    • Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh)
    • Radhikapur (India)-Birol (Bangladesh)
    • Haldibari-Chilahati
  • Railway PSU CONCOR has also started container cargo with fast moving consumer goods of private clients.
  • In 2021, the Eastern Railway facilitated the import of de-oiled soya cakes from Bangladesh.

 

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-how-india-bangladesh-are-rebooting-their-rail-link-7946133/
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