Train links India and Bangladesh
Regular service is likely to be launched by mid-August to link Dhaka and Kolkata.
ATM lsmail, a Bangladesh communications ministry official, said: “Bangladesh has taken enough security measures for the Indian trial train, so that no one can cause any obstacle in efforts to consolidate ties between our two countries.”
A similar train, Samjhauta (Friendship) Express travels between India and Pakistan. A bomb attack on the New Delhi-Lahore train left 68 people aboard it dead in February.
The train service between India and Bangladesh was suspended after a war in 1965 between India and Pakistan, when Bangladesh was Pakistan’s eastern province.
|“We are very hopeful for success of this service if launched [because] the attitude of the people here is very friendly”
EA Ahamed, leader of Indian train delegation
The service was not restored even after Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.
EA Ahamed, leader of the Indian officials on Sunday’s trial train service, said: “We are very hopeful for success of this service if launched. The attitude of the people here is very friendly.”
Bangladesh will soon send a train to Kolkata on a similar trial run, before finalising the service, he said. Security, immigration and customs arrangements crucial for such a cross-border service are to be drawn up at a two-day meeting between the countries’ officials this week.
Touhid Hossain, Bangladesh’s chief foreign ministry administrator, said: “Both countries would benefit if the service could be launched and run successfully.”
There are separate direct bus services linking Dhaka with Kolkata and Agartala, capital of India’s north-eastern Tripura state.
Officials said nearly 3,000 people from the two countries legally travel across the borders daily.