India-Bangladesh friendship train from next month

March 11th, 2008 - 7:29 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The friendship train between India and Bangladesh, called Maitree Express and linking Kolkata and Dhaka, will commence its run from the Bengali New Year Day April 14, Railway minister Lalu Prasad announced here Tuesday. “The Maitree Express will start operating between Kolkata and Dhaka to improve friendly relations between India and Bangaldesh,” lalu prasad announced in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, while replying to the debate on the railway budget he presented last month.

“A decision has been taken to start the service April 14 which is the Bengali New Year Day,” he said.

The minister said the frequency of the train service would be decided on the basis of people’s response.

The two cities are already linked by a bus service that was started in June 1999.

The train will operate between the Sealdah station in Kolkata and Dhaka, covering 345-km journey in 12 hours.

Bangaldesh Army chief Moeen Ahmed, on a visit to Santiniketan University in West Bengal, stated March 1 that the service will commence on the Bengali New Year Day.

The India-Bangladesh Inter-governmental Committee on Railways had a three-day meeting in New Delhi from Feb 25. According to the agreement reached between the two countries, India and Bangladesh will run the train for six months each.

According to Railways sources, the train services between the two cities had been discontinued in 1965 during the first India-Pakistan war.

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