Thursday, 30 June, 2022

Third India-Bangladesh passenger train Mitali Express to commence services on June 1

NEW DELHI: Mitali Express, the third Indo-Bangladesh train service is set to start service on June 1 from West Bengal's New Jalpaiguri station in India to Dhaka in Bangladesh.

The train will take nine hours to travel 513 kilometres between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka Cantonment station. It will be operated by a diesel engine and will have four air-conditioned cabin coaches and four air-conditioned chair cars.

Bangladesh Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and Indian Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav will jointly flag off "Mitali Express" between Dhaka to Siligiri/New Jalpaiguri in a grand function to be oraganised at the Headquarter of Indian Railway Ministry –Rail Bhavan.

To attend the ceremony, the Bangladesh Minister along with senior officials of the Railways Ministry is due to reach in New Delhi on Saturday (May 28) with senior Railway officials. Following the inauguration, both the Ministers will sit for a bilateral meeting for enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

After reaching Delhi, Minister Sujan will visit some Indian railway coach factories in Kapurthala and other places.

According to officials, Bangladesh is planning to import some diesel locomotives and modern railway coaches for the country. The Mitali express train will run through newly inaugurated Haldibari-Chilahati route –a railway connectivity existed pre 1965 days.

Sources said that customs and immigration services will be in place for the international train voyage.

They said that the Mitali Express, in addition to bilateral connections, will help to bolster tourism prospects. A hospital, shopping malls and low-cost hotels will be constructed in the area to help people navigate around the station.

Initially it will be bi-weekly train and will leave New Jalpaiguri on every Thursday and Monday. From Dhaka, the train will depart on Friday and Thursday, said a sources.

At the New Jalpaiguri station platform 1A has been readied for the service. The Train will arrive and depart from this platform with counters for immigration and Customs.

India and Bangladesh are jointly working to enhance rail connectivity between the two countries by developing some crucial railway projects and as well as restoring some old railway links with Bangladesh.

A senior government official said," a total of 17 railway projects have been included in the Indian Line of Credit extended to Bangladesh by India with a commitment of US $2.44 billion."The rate of Indian LOC has an interest of 1% per annum and repayment within 20 years with a moratorium of 5 years.

The most important link between Akhaura and Agartala is likely to be completed in end of this year which will be another milestone in the bilateral coopeartion. As Indian North east will be connected with Bangladesh and Dhaka will get an opportunity to find trade potential down South-East Asia.