Foreign minister to flag off train to DhakaApril 11th, 2008 - 8:32 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will flag off from Kolkata on Monday a trans-border passenger service train between India and Bangladesh that was suspended over four decades ago. West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and many senior cabinet ministers will be among those attending the launch ceremony on Poila Baisakh, Bengali New Year’s Day.
The train, called Moitree (Friendship) Express, seeks to connect thousands of people on both sides of the India-Bangladesh border who have relatives on the other side.
India and Bangladesh signed a deal on July 12, 2001, to resume a direct train service between Dhaka and Kolkata. But it was delayed due to wrangling over security arrangements.
The train will run twice a week - on Saturday and Sunday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters here.
Passengers aboard the train will be feted with a gala cultural show in Dhaka in the evening.
Passenger train services between the two countries were suspended after a war between India and Pakistan in 1965, when Bangladesh was the eastern province of Pakistan. It became independent in 1971.