Delhi, Dhaka finalise ‘friendship’ train details

April 4th, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, April 4 (IANS) Railway official of India and Bangladesh have tied the loose ends of a deal under which a train called Maitree (friendship) Express will run between Dhaka and Kolkata from April 14. A formal pact would be signed before the launch, the New Age newspaper said Friday, quoting A.T.K.M. Ismail, an additional secretary of Bangladesh’s communication ministry.

R.N. Varma, who headed the seven-member Indian side, said: “We have mended all the loose ends and are now completely ready for the beginning of the train service.”

“We have discussed each and every item… immigration, customs and we are on the right track. We have no apprehension over the beginning of the train service and that is why we are here,” Varma, additional member (traffic) of the Indian Railway Board, said.

Prolonged talks have taken place between the two South Asian neighbours over this arrangement.

Bangladesh sought to meet the India’s concern over likelihood of unauthorised movement of men and goods using the proposed train service.

The Bangladeshi train with a capacity of 418 passengers will leave the cantonment station in Dhaka for Kolkata at 8.30 a.m. every Saturday.

The Indian train with a capacity of 366 passengers will start for Dhaka every Sunday at 7.10 a.m. The two sides have decided on train fares of $20, $15 and $10.

“Tickets will be sold after examining the passport and visa. The government will announce the date for the ticket sales through newspaper advertisements,” Ismail said.

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