India to warm up Kolkata and Khulna railway link

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: In a bid to further deepen bilateral ties with Bangaldesh, India is warming up to its neighbour with greater connectivity, as the former is examining a proposal to allow another rail line between Kolkata and Khulna after the Dhaka-Kolkata line

The Khulna-Kolkata rail link assumes importance for the fact that it would ensure linkage to tourists to the world famed Sundarban mangrove forest, which is also a home to the Royal Bengal tiger.

Khulna is also known as the centre from where the Mukti Vahini had launched the war of Independence against Pakistani Army.

Indian railways has agreed to allow the iconic Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree Express to run thrice a week, which currently is a biweekly train.

In a follow up to the visit of the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj earlier, the two countries had decided to explore the possibility of enhancing the services of the Maitree Express.

“After a two-day long deliberations between officials of Indian railways and their counterparts from Bangladesh in Kolkata, it has been agreed that the Maitree Express will operate three days a week now. Before the train begins running on three days a week, certain custom and immigration formalities need to be done for which the railways will approach the ministry of finance and external affairs,” said a senior official of the railway board.

It has also been decided that the passenger capacity of the popular Maitree Express would further be enhanced and for that purpose more coaches would be attached in the Kolkata-Dhaka train, added the official.

Furthermore, India has agreed to expeditiously examine the feasibility of a rail link between Kolkata and Khulna, which is the third largest urban centre of Bangladesh and buzzes with industrial activities.

Following bilateral trade liberalisation, there has been a growing demand for a rail link between Khulna and Kolkata.