Following a proposal from the Indian Railways (IR), Dhaka and New Delhi have agreed to work out particulars of the potential of India utilizing rail transit by means of Bangladesh.
Below the plan, Indian trains will run between Sealdah and Haldibari in West Bengal through Bangladesh. In that case, the trains will enter Bangladesh through Gede-Darshan (Chuadanga) border and exit by means of Chilahati (Nilphamari)-Haldibari border to achieve Siliguri.
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At current, India has highway transport services by means of Bangladesh. If accredited by each governments, the proposed route can be the primary rail transit facility between the 2 nations in additional than half a century.
Earlier than the India-Pakistan partition in 1947, there have been eight railway interchanges between the 2 nations. Solely 5 of them – Benapole-Petropol, Darshan-Gede, Rohanpur-Singabad, Biral-Radhikarpur, and Chilhati-Haldibari – at the moment are operational.
The IR made the proposal in a gathering with Bangladesh Railways (BR) in April.
Assembly paperwork seen by The Every day Star present that the highway infrastructure is “utterly prepared” for the inauguration of the route from Gede-Darshan-Ishwardi-Abdulpur-Parbatipur-Chilahati-Haldibari.
The Indian Railways delegation additionally sought to extend the variety of trains from India by means of numerous factors for carrying freight from one provider to a different.
Within the assembly, BR officers demanded a brand new in a single day prepare service from Dhaka to Kolkata through Darshan. The doc reads, Dhaka will quickly current a proper proposal on this regard.
Two passenger trains along with items trains are being operated between India and Bangladesh for a few years.
At current, the Maitree Categorical between Dhaka and Kolkata makes use of the Gede-Darshan interchange. Bandhan Categorical runs between Khulna and Kolkata.
Rail communication between the 2 nations by means of the Chilahati-Haldibari route resumed in December 2020 after a niche of 55 years. The operation of the third passenger prepare Mithali Categorical has began from right now.
The resumption of prepare operations on the Chilahati-Haldibari route has created scope for Indian Railways to revive the outdated Siliguri-Sealdah route through Bangladesh.
The proposed transit facility will cut back the journey time by about three hours. At current, Indian trains should journey 573 km from Sealdah in Kolkata to achieve Siliguri. If it may well journey by means of the brand new route, it’ll come down to simply 200 km.
In keeping with the Instances of India, earlier than 1965, trains from Siliguri used to cross by means of Haldibari and enter Chilhati in erstwhile East Pakistan through Kolkata.
After the Indo-Pak struggle in 1965, this line was completely closed.
An IR delegation led by Indian Railway Board Government Director (Visitors Transport) Manoj Singh visited Bangladesh in April as a part of the groundwork for Bangladesh Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan’s go to to India.
The minister left for India on Saturday and is anticipated to return residence on Friday.
The Indian group held a excessive stage assembly with the BR delegations below the management of Extra Director Common (Infrastructure) Kemrul Ahsan at Rail Bhawan, Dhaka on 21 April.
“It was mentioned that the transit of IR trains by means of Bangladesh could possibly be helpful for BR, IR and folks and commerce of each the nations,” the assembly doc stated.
“Either side agreed to work out the finer particulars and procure needed approvals from the involved authorities. That is anticipated to assist decongest the IRs and supply break up earnings to the BRs,” the doc stated.
“Sure they [Indian Railways] has been proposed. Nevertheless, no closing resolution has been taken on this regard. This can be a main problem and must be mentioned on the coverage stage,” a participant within the assembly informed the Every day Star.
Qamrul Ahsan declined to touch upon the proposal.
BR Director Common Dhirendra Nath Majumdar didn’t reply to The Every day Star’s request for feedback.
The Indian proposal got here at a time when an Indian newspaper reported that its central authorities was contemplating a second rail route that may join its north-eastern state of Meghalaya to the remainder of the nation through Bangladesh.
Not too long ago, the Katihar division of the Northeast Frontier Railway despatched a proposal to the Railway Board, looking for approval for the mission, as The Telegraph On-line reported on Might 5, citing IR sources.
The proposal states that the rail route will enter Bangladesh from Hili and cross by means of locations like Ghoraghat, Palashbari and Gaibandha within the northern elements of Bangladesh and join Tura’s Mahendraganj, reads the information.
The Indian facet additionally raised the difficulty of accelerating the variety of trains from India to at the very least 10 to fifteen trains per 30 days at numerous interchange factors.
The BR facet stated that some enhancements are being deliberate at some particular factors within the close to future.
The Indian Railways facet expressed curiosity in some initiatives, together with conversion of Kauniya-Lalmonirhat part from meter gauge to broad gauge.
BR expressed curiosity in restoration of Burimari-Chengarabandh hyperlink and building of Panchgarh-Banglabandh-Rangapani (India) hyperlink.