India, Bangladesh sign Kolkata-Dhaka passenger train agreement

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Dhaka, Apr 10 (UNI) India and Bangladesh today signed an agreement clearing the way for commissioning the Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train services from April 14, after a lapse of 43 years.

Bangladesh Communications Secretary Dr Mahbubur Rahman and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty signed the agreement on behalf of their governments at the Communication Ministry.

Mr Chakravarty termed the agreement a big history and said it will connect the two countries closely. ''I think it is the beginning of a new chapter,'' he said.

Dr Rahman hoped the train services would not only improve the communications network between the two neighbours but would also make possible to establish communication networks connecting other countries in the region.

The first train will leave on April 14 from Dhaka Cantonment station at 0800 hrs and another train from Kolkata will arrive at Dhaka Cantonment station at about 2000 hrs on the same day.

The train services between Dhaka and Kolkata were suspended in March, 1965 following a war between India and Pakistan when Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan) was a part of Pakistan.

Initially, two trains will run on Saturdays and Sundays every week. Each train will have capacity of 418 passengers in seven compartments.

Train fares will be between 8 dollar and 20 dollar depending on the classes for the 538km journey, 418km in Bangladesh and 120km in India. Fares for each sleeping berth will be 20 dollar , AC 12 dollar and non-AC 8 dollar.

Darshana in Chuadanga district of Bangladesh will be the immigration checkpoint for passengers from India, and Dhaka for outgoing passengers.

UNI XC SLD RK1700

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