Dhaka, Apr 14 (UNI) The long-awaited passenger train service on Dhaka-Kolkata route, connecting the two neighbours, resumed today, the first day of Bengali New Year, after 43 years.
The first train left Dhaka Cantonment station at 0830 hrs with 450 passengers on board while another from Kolkata is scheduled to arrive at the Dhaka Cantonment station at 2030 hrs today.
Eminent personalities, government officials and journalists were on board the ''Moitree Train''(Friendship Train) apart from general passengers.
Initially, two trains would run on the Dhaka-Kolkata route, on Saturdays and Sundays every week. Each train would have facility for some 417 passengers in seven compartments.
Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation has made preparations to welcome the guests from Kolkata in the inaugural run of the the train.
The train communication between Dhaka and Kolkata was suspended in March 1965 following the war between India and Pakistan when Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan) was a part of Pakistan.
Train fares have been fixed at between 8 dollars and 20 dollars depending on the classes for the 538km journey -- 418km in Bangladesh and 120km in India. Fare for each sleeping berth is 20 dollar, AC chair coach 12 dollars and non-AC chair coach 8 dollars.
Darshana in Chuadanga district will be the immigration checkpoint for passengers from India, while Dhaka Cantonment station for the outbound passengers.
On April 10, Bangladesh and India signed an agreement clearing the way for cross-border run of trains on the Dhaka-Kolkata route from Pahela Baishakh.
UNI XC ARB GC1143