Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between India & Bangladesh becomes functional after 55 yrs
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link on Thursday, December 17 after nearly 55 years. It was cut off during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was part of the Broad-Gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri in North Bengal. Siliguri is considered the gateway to Sikkim, Bhutan and the North-east through Assam. However, due to the 1965 war between India and Pakistan all the railway links between the two countries were cut-off. Haldibari-Chilahati route will enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh. he distance between Haldibari railway station in West Bengal’s Coochbehar district till the international border is 4.5 kilometres while that from Chilahati in Bangladesh till the zero point is around 7.5 kilometres. This link will enhance rail network accessibility and give a boost to bilateral trade and economic development of the region. The rail link will facilitate movement of goods cargo. Passenger movement will also commence after necessary infrastructure on both sides is completed. Meanwhile, India and Bangladesh remain committed to boost cooperation in removing bottlenecks for the movement of traffic hassle-free. With the inauguration of the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link, five out of six rail links have become operational. The other four operational rail links between India and Bangladesh are Petrapole-Benapole, Gede-Darshana, Singhabad-Rohanpur and Radhikapur-Birol.