NEW DELHI – India and Bangladesh on Thursday launched a new train service between West Bengal’s capital Kolkata and the southwestern Bangladeshi city of Khulna.
The train Bandhan Express will operate on Thursdays, covering a distance of about 170 km between the two cities.
Bangladesh is hugely important to India’s plans to develop a regional transport network involving neighbours such as Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flagged off the air-conditioned train service via a video conference.
Two bridges developed at a cost of US$100 million and an international rail passenger terminus at Chitpur in Kolkata were also inaugurated.
“Today is a great day for relations between the two countries with the inauguration of the train services and the two bridges. This train service is a dream come true for people on both sides of the border,” Hasina said.
Modi said the new projects would grow Bengal’s historic relations with Bangladesh.
He said the international passenger terminus will help people using the Kolkata-Khulna service and the Maitree Express (Friendship Express), which links Kolkata with Dhaka. – BERNAMA