by NEWSNER , 2021-08-03 14:21:25
The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was officially opened in December 2020 during a virtual meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to strengthen bilateral trade relations. This rail link is also expected to open up opportunities for northeast India to reach the worldwide market.
The distance between Haldibari railway station and the international border is 4.5 kilometres, whereas the distance between Chilhati and the international border is around 7.5 kilometres.
On Sunday, the first freight train left Alipurduar division's Dumdum station on its way to Chilahati station in Bangladesh along the Haldibari-Chilahati rail route.
History of Haldibari-Chilahati rail route:
Between India and Bangladesh, only seven rail links were operating after independence (known as East Pakistan then). Both countries are currently attempting to resurrect the historic train lines.
Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) - Darshan (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India) - Rohanpur (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India) - Birol. (Bangladesh), and Haldibari-Chilahati are the five lines connecting West Bengal and Bangladesh that are now active.
The Haldibari-Chilahati railway line was closed in 1965. During the partition, it was a part of the broad-gauge main route connecting Kolkata and Siliguri. Trains to Assam and North Bengal continued to pass through the old East Pakistan territory even after partition. The 1965 war, on the other hand, effectively severed all railway ties between India and Bangladesh.
The train route from Haldibari station to the Bangladesh border was built between 2016 and 2017. The tracks were rebuilt at a cost of Rs 82 crore by Indian Railways.
The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link is expected to boost India-Bangladesh trade, social, and economic connections, as well as help other South Asian countries like Nepal and Bhutan.