Project taken for direct train link with Darjeeling

Project taken for direct train link with Darjeeling
After more than five decades, Bangladesh and India have taken a move to revamp Chilahati-Haldibari rail connectivity which would open up scope for trains to travel to Shiliguri and Darjeeling, reports BSS

To this end, Bangladesh Railway has taken a fresh project to reconstruct over seven kilometers of new rail track in bordering Chilahati in Nilphamari district to connect Haldibari on Indian side with government financing, an additional director general of Bangladesh Railway (BR) told the news agency yesterday.

“Once the connectivity is completed, it would not only open new horizon of bilateral trade with India, but also with Nepal and Bhutan alongside tourism,” he said.

The additional director general said the project involving Tk 80 crore would be placed before the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today for final approval.

Upon getting the ECNEC nod, the project would be implemented by 2021, he added.

Officials said the project comes as part of the government’s decision to revive all the railway connectivity points to ensure seamless rail connectivity with the neighbouring country.

They said the Indian government will reconstruct 3 km rail track in its part to reinstate the British-era rail connectivity that was shut down following the India-Pakistan war in 1965.

The rail connectivity will facilitate plying of freight and passenger trains from Bangladesh to Darjeeling via Shiliguri which was in operation before the closure.

Bangladesh and India have a total of seven railway connectivity points, of which three are now operational while four are shut down.

Officials said the Chilahati-Haldibari route, of the four non-operational railway interconnectivity stations, is practically very important for Bangladesh as this route will be more suitable for establishing rail connectivity with Bhutan through India.

With the new initiative of BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) connectivity, exports and imports through Mongla port are expected to see a rise as the rail link will help increase trade cooperation with north-eastern part of India.

Besides, trades with India and Nepal are also expected to boost up following completion

of the rail connectivity and subsequent deals with India.

Earlier, in an Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting (IGRM) held in New Delhi on May 25-27 in 2015, both the governments have also decided to reopen the important Chilahati-Haldibari railway interchange.

At present, three rail routes are operational between the two neighbouring countries. The route from Darshana in Chuadanga to Gede in West Bengal is used for carrying both passengers and goods while the other two — Benapole-Petrapole and Rohanpur-Singhabad routes — for freight services.

Three routes from Feni to Belonia, Burimari to Changrabandha and Banglabandha to Siliguri remain non-operational, said Bangladesh Railway officials.

http://www.theindependentbd.com
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After more than five decades, Bangladesh and India have taken a move to revamp Chilahati-Haldibari rail connectivity which would open up scope for trains to travel to Shiliguri and Darjeeling, reports BSS

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