Saturday, Dec 9 2023 | Time 06:57 Hrs(IST)

Goods train from India reaches Bangladesh through route stalled for 56 years

Goods train from India reaches Bangladesh through  route stalled for 56 years

Dhaka, Aug 1 (UNI) The first goods train carrying stone from India through the revived Haldibari–Chilahati rail link arrived at Chilahati railway station in frontier Nilphamari district of Bangladesh Sunday.

The train with 40 wagons carrying 2500 metric tons of stone was received by Abdur Rahim, Paksey Divisional Engineer-2 and Project Director, at 1335 hours BDT.

Officials of Indian High Commission in Bangladesh were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, the train left Damdim station of Alipurduar Division in Northeast Frontier Railway on Saturday night.

Sources said, Haldibari-Chilahati route will provide a shorter route for transport of goods into Bangladesh from Assam, West Bengal, Nepal and Bhutan.

This rail link is expected to enhance rail network accessibility to the main ports, dry ports and land borders to support the growth in regional trade and to encourage economic and social development of the region.

Economic activities of the South Asian countries will also be benefitted from this rail link, which remained stalled for about 56 years.

The Haldibari–Chilahati rail link between India and the then East Pakistan was operational till 1965. This was part of the Broad Gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri.

Travelling by train to Assam and North Bengal continued through the then East Pakistan territory even after the partition.

However, Indo-Pak war in 1965 effectively cut off all the railway links between India and the then East Pakistan.

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was inaugurated on 17 December last year during the virtual bilateral summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh.

However, due to the Covid pandemic, regular train services could not be started in the section since then, said a statement by the Northeast Frontier Railway.

At present, five rail routes connect Bangladesh and India namely Petrapole-Benapole, Gede-Darshana, Singhabad-Rohanpur, Radhikapur-Birol and Haldibari-Chilahati.

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