India, Bangladesh launch cross-border passenger train service

Modi and Hasina will jointly launch a cross-country passenger train service today

Modi and Hasina will jointly launch a cross-country passenger train service today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasinaon Thursday flagged off a new train service between Kolkata and Khulna via video conference.

The worldwide rail Ppassenger terminus at Chitpur in Kolkata will make it possible for Indian passengers traveling to Dhaka or Khulna in Bangladesh by Maitree Express or the newly launched Bandhan Express to get immigration clearance before boarding the trains.

The three also inaugurated two bridges over the rivers Meghna and Titas in Bangladesh.

Both the leaders were joined by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from Kolkata.

"There should be enhanced people to people connectivity", he said. "It is a dream come true for both the countries".

Prime Minister Hasina said, "Today is a great day for relations between the two countries with the inauguration of the train services and the two bridges".

Read Also: Karnataka: Engine moves without loco pilot, stopped after chase on bikeBangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also reiterated what Narendra Modi said.

"We're ready to co-operate with India and other countries in the immediate neighbourhood for creating a "peace area" in South Asia where we can live together", she said.

"These new modes of connectivity are adding diverse dimensions to our overall connectivity architecture.I am happy to note that we have recently extended our connectivity to the space too", she said.

Hasina said as friendly nations there has been an excellent relationship between the two countries and continuation of such relationship is very essential, the Daily Star reported.

"India takes pride in being a development partner of Bangladesh". "Bangladesh-India relations are in fact setting new high standards of bilateral cooperation in the region and beyond", she added.

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Bangladesh in October also stressed to increase the connectivity.

"I hope this fine display of mutuality of our relationship will further strengthen our bilateral relations". "Our two countries are also working to re-open our pre-1965 rail links for cargo transport between Bangladesh and India".

In Kolkata, Chief Minister Banerjee said: "This is a huge gain for passenger convenience".

"Bangladesh is one of India's best friend in the world".

The Bandhan Express will start ferrying passengers from November 16 onwards. Bandhan express will strengthen the relationship.

The two railway bridges have been built at a cost of $100 million, which has been met from India's $8 billion soft loan to Bangladesh. It would reach Khulna in Bangladesh at about 12 noon, IST.

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