‘Train services soon between Siliguri and Dhaka’: Shringla

Shringla, who was in Darjeeling to attend a charity event, announced this while interacting with the media
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. (PTI File Photo)
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. (PTI File Photo)
Updated on Nov 21, 2021 08:54 PM IST
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Train services between north Bengal’s Siliguri, the second-largest city in the eastern state, and Bangladesh capital Dhaka will start soon, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s foreign secretary, said on Sunday. Shringla, who was in Darjeeling to attend a charity event, announced this while interacting with the media.

“The Centre is trying to operationalise the railway services between the two cities and the announcement on the same would be made soon,” he said.

“The plan is to start the service at the earliest and it will take advantage of the opening of Haldibari-Chilahati train services. It is important for linking Bangladesh to north Bengal. It will provide a lot of opportunities in the transportation of goods. The services will start with freight trains and, over a period of time, passenger train services will start between Siliguri and Dhaka,” Shringla added.

Freight train services between Haldibari in the Alipurduar railway division and Chilahati in Bangladesh resumed on August 1, after a gap of 56 years.

“The two countries have passenger train services between Kolkata and Dhaka and between Kolkata and Khulna. Passenger trains between Dhaka and Siliguri will bring in tourists and people coming for medical reasons. This is good for the region” Shringla said.

Five railway services between West Bengal and Bangladesh are currently operational. These are - Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede - Darshan, Singhabad - Rohanpur, Radhikapur- Birol and Haldibari-Chilahati.

The foreign secretary also reiterated that India has a clearly-laid policy in regard to China.

“The Tibetan autonomous region is a part of that country and there is no change in our policy,” the foreign secretary said in Darjeeling.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021