Dhaka-Kolkata ‘friendship’ train from April 14March 24th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by admin
Dhaka, March 24 (IANS) India and Bangladesh are set to start the Dhaka-Kolkata ‘maitree’ (friendship) train by April 14 on Poila Baishakh, Bengali New Year’s Day, celebrated on both sides of the border. An official announcement would be made on April 1 following a formal agreement. Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty told reporters after railway officials of both sides met here Sunday.
India’s Railway Minister Lalu Prasad had already mentioned the official date in the railway budget proposals last month.
Railway officials would meet for three days to sort out the details, including some security infrastructure that India wants built.
The two-way passenger train would run once a week, The Daily Star said.
“We are aiming to start the Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train service from Poila Baishakh… You see, our rail minister has already announced the date in the parliament,” Chakravarty said while replying to a reporter’s query at Bangladesh’s communications ministry office.
Chakravarty had a meeting with Communications Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Ghulam Quader.
The envoy expressed the hope that the infrastructure work yet to be completed would be finished shortly.
Responding to a query, he said fences near ‘no man’s land’ would not create any problem in launching the rail service. “We have already reached an agreement on this.”
“There are still some unfinished tasks, but we hope those will be finished by Poila Baishakh,” Communications Secretary Mahbubur Rahman added.
“We have already done two trial runs and found no problems. Let’s start the service; we can address problems if they come up,” Rahman told The Daily Star Sunday night.
Bangladesh has set up the immigration centre for the train passengers in Darsana, Chuadanga, for the moment, he said. “The railways are preparing the budget for setting up the centre near the international border.”
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