ASIA: A third India to Bangladesh passenger train was launched on June 1, as cross-border services resumed following a two-year break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The diesel hauled Mital Express runs twice a week on a 595 km route from New Jalpaiguri in India to Dhaka in Bangladesh. It uses the 10 km cross-border link between Haldibari and Chilahati which reopened to freight services last year, but plans for a passenger service were put on hold because of the pandemic.
India’s Ministry of Railways said the passenger service would boost tourism in both countries and provides to Bangladeshi citizens with a rail route to Nepal.
Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said the launch of the Mitali Express would be a milestone for increasing friendship, strengthening bonds and improving the relationship between India and Bangladesh.
‘Lots of collaborative efforts have been made between the two railways. It is a very opportune moment; a moment when we should take bigger steps to cement our relationship between the two nations’, he said.
Meanwhile, the five days a week Kolkata – Dhaka Maitree Express and twice weekly Kolkata – Khulna Bandhan Express resumed operation in late May.