India-Bangladesh rail service pact Tuesday

April 7th, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, April 7 (IANS) India and Bangladesh are set to sign here Tuesday a supplementary deal on the commissioning of the cross-border passenger train, called Moitree (friendship) Express, beginning April 14. The deal was given a formal approval at a special meeting of the council of advisers chaired by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed Sunday, the New Age newspaper reported Monday.

To run between Dhaka and Kolkata, the train service will revive a communication link that was snapped after the 1965 war between India and Pakistan. Bangladesh was then East Pakistan.

India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav will flag off the train from Kolkata.

Railway officials of both sides finalised the details of the service at a two-day bilateral meet last week.

The Moitree Express will travel between the Cantonment station in Dhaka and the Chitpur station in Kolkata through the Darshana border.

Two trains will simultaneously leave Dhaka and Kolkata every Saturday and return Sunday.

The train from Dhaka will have a capacity of 418 passengers and that from Kolkata 366. The 538 km journey - 418 km in Bangladesh and 120 km in India - will take 13 to 14 hours.

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