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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Transport of goods through reopened Haldibari-Chilahati route reaches Bangladesh on August 1

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5th rail link between India and Bangladesh called the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link has been made functional from December 17, 2020.

Also read: A dwarf cow has become new attraction in Bangladesh; Owner eyes guinness world record

Transport of goods for the first time at the station

Chilahati

The first goods train to carry stone chips from Damdim station of Alipurduar Division in NFR crossed to Chilahati station in Bangladesh through the reopened Haldibari – Chilahati rail link on August 1, 2021, at 4:35 pm.

Moreover, the Haldibari – Chilahati rail link made functional from December 17, 2020, is the 5th rail link between India and Bangladesh.

History of Haldibari-Chilahati rail link

The railway network of India and Bangladesh are mostly inherited from British Era Indian Railways. After partition in 1947, 7 rail links were operational between India and then East Pakistan (up to 1965).

Recently, there were 4 operational rail links between India and Bangladesh e.g. Petrapole (India) – Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) – Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India)–Birol (Bangladesh).

The Haldibari – Chilahati rail link was operational till 1965. This was part of the Broad Gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri during the partition.

Trains traveling to Assam and North Bengal continued to travel through the then East Pakistan territory even after partition. However, the war of 1965 effectively cut off all the railway links between India and then East Pakistan.

Restoration of rail tracks from Haldibari

Haldibari Chilahati rail link Chilahati The North-Eastern Chronicle

As per pursuance of the joint declaration in the Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting (IGRM) held in Delhi in May 2015; the Railway Board sanction for construction of a new BG line from Haldibari station to Bangladesh Border for connection with Chilahati (Bangladesh) [Length – 3.50 km] in 2016-17 to reopen this erstwhile rail link.

Indian Railways has restored the tracks up to the international border from Haldibari station for Rs. 82.72 crores.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina inaugurates the Haldibari -Chilahatirail link on December 17, 2021, during the PM level virtual bilateral summit.

However, due to the Covid pandemic, regular train services could not be started in the section since then.

About Haldibari-Chilahati route

Haldibari Chilahati The North-Eastern Chronicle

Furthermore, Haldibari – Chilahati route will provide a shorter route for the transit of goods into Bangladesh from Assam, West Bengal, Nepal, and Bhutan.

This rail link will enhance rail network access to the main ports, dry ports, and land borders to support the growth in regional trade and to encourage economic and social development of the region.

Thus, the economic activities of these South Asian countries will also be benefited from this new rail link.

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