Train to Bangladesh flagged off by Modi, Sheikh Hasina, Mamata

Violet Powell
November 10, 2017

Taking their close ties and connectivity links further, India and Bangladesh on Thursday opened a new rail line between Kolkata and Khulna with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee jointly flagging-off the "Bandhan Express" via video-conferencing.

Prime Minister Modi during the inaugural run of the train said, "The ties of friendship between India and Bangladesh will further strengthen".

Modi added that the most important focus should be on the connectivity among people.

With the inaugurations of these services, she said, a new door of relationship has been opened up between the two countries, and this will further strengthened in the future.

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

"We want to cooperate with India and other countries in the immediate neighbourhood for creating an area of peace in South Asia where we can live as good neighbours and pursue constructive policies for our peoples benefit", she said.

Indian Prime Minister Modi said, India takes pride in being a reliable partner in Bangladesh's development.

"I am happy to note that we are making progresses in that direction step by step".

"I firmly believe that neighbouring countries should act more like neighbours". Bangladesh PM Hasina said, "Today is a great day for relations between the two countries with the inauguration of the train services and the two bridges".

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She said today is yet another happy occasion in Bangladesh-India relations.

She also wished all the success of the Maitree Express and Bandhan Express services.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM's Economic Affairs Adviser Moshiur Rahman, Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla and secretaries concerned were present at the Gono Bhaban.

The 1 km long Bhairab railway bridge was built over Meghna at a cost of around $ 75 million by Indian contractors and consultants, while the Titas bridge in eastern Bangladesh was built at a cost of around $ 25 million.

The bridge over the Titas was built by Indian company Gammon-Flcl Consortium.

Railway sources said the new train would start its commercial operation from November 16.

There are several rail link projects between India and Bangladesh.

The Bandhan Express is scheduled to ply the route every Thursday.

The train, according to the schedule, would leave Kolkata at 11 a.m. (India time) and reach Khulna in four and half hours.

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