Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will jointly launch on Thursday with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi the Khulna-Kolkata train service and open two bridges on railway routes connecting Dhaka with Sylhet and Chittagong.
The two premiers will inaugurate the projects through a videoconferencing from Dhaka and New Delhi when they also launched an “end to end” immigration facility to ease Dhaka-Kolkata Moitree Train services.
They said passengers of the trains will get a hassle-free journey as they will complete immigration and customs formalities on board.
Sheikh Hasina will join the inauguration ceremony at 11:30am from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Passengers of the both trains will undergo end-to-end immigration and customs checks in the trains from November 10.
However, passengers could not make any journey on the day as Bandhan’s commercial service will begin on November 14.
Passengers of Maitree Express have been undergoing immigration and customs checks at Gede station on the Indian side and Darshana on the Bangladesh side during the journey.
Under the system, passengers have to de-board along with their luggage and undergo customs and immigration checks.
Passengers become annoyed as the process takes some hours.
The new system will help passengers as the train will halt at Gede and Darshana for technical checks by security forces of the two countries.
During the halts, security personnel will check the undercarriage of the train thoroughly while the passenger coaches will be locked thereby restricting passengers’ movement.
The Maitree Express undertakes 375km journey taking 9 to 10 hours.
The end-to-end check will streamline the system, saving both time and inconvenience.
At present, there are four operational rail links between West Bengal and Bangladesh, including Petrapole-Benapole, Gede-Darshana, Radhikapur-Biral and Singhabad-Rohanpur, reports agencies.
India and Bangladesh share a 4096km long international border, the 5th longest land border in the world.There are two upcoming railway links between the two nations -- Haldibari in the northern part of West Bengal to Chilahati in Bangladesh and Mahisasan in Assam with Shahbazpur in Bangladesh.
Three more rail links to connect the two countries have also been proposed.