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After 50 years, commercial services re-established on India-Bangladesh rail link

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Commercial services on the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link between India and Bangladesh, which had been missing for more than 50 years, began on Sunday with a freight train heading to the neighboring country.

The restored rail link was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on December 17, 2020.

However, no train officially operated on the route after that due to the pandemic situation.

The chipped stone freight train with 58 cars exited Dimdima station in Alipurduar at 10:30 am Sunday. Its destination is Chilahati in Bangladesh via Haldibari.

“The first trip of a commercial service between Haldibari and Chilahati will take place on Sunday,” a spokesperson for the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said on Saturday.

The distance from Haldibari station to the international border is 4.5 km and 7.5 km from Chilahati to “zero point”.

After passing through Haldibari station, the train reached the immigration checkpoint at Khalpara-Dangapara.

The chairman of the North Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Kishore Marodiya, who was present on the occasion, said that the start of the commercial service on the rail link would contribute to the economic development of the districts of North Bengal and the whole of State.

The businessmen in the region are very happy, ”he said.

The construction of a new wide gauge line from Haldibari station to the Bangladesh border was sanctioned by the Railway Board following the joint statement at the Intergovernmental Meeting of Railways in May 2015.

“The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was operational until 1965. However, the 1965 (Indo-Pakistani) war effectively cut off all rail links between India and then East Pakistan, the Ministry of Railways said. iron in a press release in December 2020.

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2/ https://indianexpress.com/article/india/commercial-services-restored-on-railway-link-between-india-and-bangladesh-7433513/

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