DHAKA, – Bangladesh and India today started regular operation of freight trains through the Haldibari-Chilahati rail route after 56 years.
Indian Railways dispatched the first freight train loaded with stones from Damdim Station of Northeast Frontier Railway to Bangladesh today, according to a brief note issued by Indian High Commission here.
After the partition in 1947, seven rail links were operational between India and the then East Pakistan till 1965 and the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link is one those routes.
Apart from the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link, currently, there are four operational rail links between India and Bangladesh – Petrapole (India)-Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India)–Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India)– Birol (Bangladesh).
The leaderships of both India and Bangladesh are committed to revive all the pre-1965 railway links between the two countries, said the Indian mission here.
As per the commitment, the restoration work was undertaken by the railways of both the countries to revive this rail link.
After the restoration, this railway link between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh) was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh during the PM level virtual bilateral summit held in December last year.
The Indian High Commission here said the restored rail link, coming into operation today, will strengthen India-Bangladesh Rail Connectivity and bilateral trade.
It will also enhance rail network accessibility to the main ports and dry ports to support the growth in regional trade and to encourage economic and social development of the region, it added.
The commodities that can be exported from India to Bangladesh through this rail route include stones and boulders, food grain, fresh fruits, chemical fertilizer, onion, chilies, garlic, ginger, fly ash, clay, lime stone, wood and timber.
From Bangladesh to India, all exportable commodities are permitted, said the Indian mission.