Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will jointly inaugurate the long-awaited direct train-service between Kolkata and Khulna through video-conferencing today.
The new train service, called Bandhan Express, is the second cross-border train between the two neighbouring countries. Our correspondent reports that the Express will re-establish the rail link between southwestern region of Bangladesh and the heart of West Bengal which was snapped off in the 1950s.
The inauguration of the Kolkata-Khulna direct train service is yet another step the two friendly neighbours are taking to direct their bilateral relationship towards excellence. Restoration of the direct rail link between Kolkata and Khulna is expected to further boost trade and people to people contacts between India and Bangladesh.
Though it will be formally inaugurated today, the Bandhan Express will start ferrying passengers from November 16 onwards. The train will run in either direction twice a week and cover the 177 km distance between Kolkata and khulna within 4 1/2 hours.
The two Prime Ministers will also inaugurate simplified end to end immigration and custom clearance services of the Moitree Express which has been running between Dhaka and Kolkata since 2008. They will also launch two railway bridges, built with the Indian line of credit.