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Blog Entry# 5031459
Posted: Aug 02 (21:38)

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Aug 02 (21:38)   India, Bangladesh resume freight services on Haldibari-Chilahati rail route after 56 years

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Entry# 5031459   News Entry# 460899         Tags   Past Edits
After almost 56 years, India and Bangladesh resumed regular operations of freight trains along the Haldibari-Chilahati rail route on Sunday.

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was inaugurated in December 2020 during a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to bolster trade relations between the two nations. This rail link is also expected to provide northeast India with an opportunity to enter the international market.

The distance between Haldibari railway station and the international border is 4.5 kms, while the distance from Chilhati is about 7.5 kms.

The first goods train left Dumdim station of Alipurduar division on Sunday and will reach Chilahati station in Bangladesh via the Haldibari-Chilahati rail route.

History of Haldibari-Chilahati rail route

After independence, only seven rail routes were operational between India and Bangladesh (known as east Pakistan then). Both nations now aim to revive those old rail links.

As of now, five links connecting West Bengal with Bangladesh have been made operational, which include Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) - Darshan (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India) - Rohanpur (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India) - Birol. (Bangladesh) and Haldibari-Chilahati.

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was last operational till 1965. It was part of the broad-gauge main road from Kolkata to Siliguri during the partition. Even after partition, trains traveling to Assam and North Bengal continued to travel through the former East Pakistan region. However, the 1965 war effectively cut off all railway links between India and Bangaldesh.

Construction of the rail line from Haldibari station to the Bangladesh border began in 2016 and ended in 2017. Indian Railways restored the tracks at a cost of Rs 82 crore.

The Haldibari-Chilahati rail route is expected to improve trade, social and economic ties between India and Bangladesh, and also benefit other South Asian countries such as Nepal and Bhutan.

( Inputs by Varun Singh)

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