PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina inaugurates Haldibari- Chilahati rail link

Published: December 18,2020 11:10 AM

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December 18, 2020: PM Narendra Modi and PM of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated a railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in Bangladesh.

December 18, 2020: In an event which will go down the history of both India and Bangladesh as a major step towards boosting people to people contact; Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated a railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in Bangladesh during the PM level virtual bilateral summit.

Later on the day, a goods train was flagged off by the Railway Minister of Bangladesh Md. Nurul Islam Sujan from Chilahati station which entered India passing through the international border thus heralding a new era for the people living in both the countries.

The railway network of India and Bangladesh are mostly inherited from British Era Indian Railways. Presently, there are 4 operational rail links between India and Bangladesh. They are, Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh),  Gede (India) – Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh),  Radhikapur (India)–Birol (Bangladesh).

The Haldibari – Chilahati rail link is the 5th rail link between India and Bangladesh.

The Haldibari – Chilahati rail link was operational till 1965. This was part of the Broad Gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri during partition.  Trains traveling to Assam and North Bengal continued to travel through the then East Pakistan territory even after partition.

Haldibari - Chilahati route will be beneficial for transit into Bangladesh from Assam and West Bengal. This newly opened rail link will enhance rail network accessibility to the main ports, dry ports, and land borders to support the growth in regional trade and to encourage economic and social development of the region.

Common people and businessman of both the countries will be able to reap the benefit of both goods and passenger traffic, once passenger trains are planned in this route.

 With this new link coming into operation, tourist from Bangladesh will be able to visit places like Darjeeling, Sikkim, Dooars apart from countries like Nepal, Bhutan etc easily.

Economic activities of these South Asian countries will also be benefitted from this new rail link.