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Dhaka Tribune

Chilahati-Haldibari transborder freight train services start

The rail link with India remained suspended since 1965

Update : 01 Aug 2021, 04:01 PM

Bangladesh and India on Sunday started regular operation of freight trains through the restored Haldibari-Chilahati rail route, aiming to "strengthen rail connectivity and bilateral trade" between the two countries. 

It will also enhance rail network accessibility to the main ports and dry ports to support the growth in regional trade to encourage economic and social development of the region, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Sunday. 

TheHaldibari- Chilahati rail link is the fifth rail link between Bangladesh and India that has been made operational.

The commodities that can be exported from India to Bangladesh through this rail route include stones and boulders, food grain, fresh fruits, chemical fertilizer, onion, chilies, garlic, ginger, fly ash, clay, limestone, and wood.

From Bangladesh to India all exportable commodities are permitted.

Also Read - 55-year long wait ends: Chilahati-Haldibari rail track reopened

Indian Railways dispatched the first freight train loaded with stones from Damdim station of Northeast Frontier Railway to Bangladesh.

After the partition in 1947, seven rail links were operational between India and Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) until 1965. 

Presently, there are four rail links between Bangladesh and India are operational. 

They are Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) - Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India) -Rohanpur (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India) - Birol (Bangladesh). 

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link is one such route that was operational till 1965.

The leadership of both Bangladesh and India are committed to reviving all the pre-1965 railway links between the two countries. 

The restoration work was undertaken by the railways of both countries to revive this rail link.

After the restoration, this railway link between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh) was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and India during the PM level virtual bilateral summit on December 17, 2020.

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