Dhaka-Kolkata Moitree Express to run from April 14

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Dhaka, Apr 3 : India-Bangladesh have decided to begin the Dhaka-Kolkata train, the 'Moitree Express', on the first day of the Bengali New Year, Pahela Baishakh, on April 14.

"The Indian High Commission has informed us that the Central government has turned down the West Bengal government's plea to re-fix the date," Bangladesh Communications Secretary Mahbubur Rahman told reporters here.

The 'Moitree Express,' which can carry 370 passengers, will run between Dhaka Cantonment and Chitpur in Kolkata through the Darshana border once a week from both the sides.

A train each will leave Dhaka and Kolkata on Saturdays and start the return journey on Sundays.

The fares will be between eight dollars and 20 dollars depending on classes for the 538-km journey - 418 km in Bangladesh and 120 km in India.

A passenger train service between Dhaka and Kolkata was introduced towards the end of the Awami League Government in July 2001. One train had run on trial basis, but the service was cancelled after the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led coalition came to power.

The two cities are currently connected by air and bus services. The slow train is expected to cover a distance of 345 kilometres between Dhaka and Kolkata in 12 hours.

The train service between India and Bangladesh was suspended during the 1965 war between India and Pakistan, when Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan, and was referred to as East Pakistan.

ANI

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