THE train service between Dhaka and Kolkata, a link to be resumed after 43 years, will add a new dimension to traveling between the two most historic capitals of the region. If everything goes well, the much-awaited service in the shape of “Moitree Express” is to start on 14 April, Pahela Baishakh, which is an auspicious day for the Bengalis on the two sides of the border. According to the deal signed by the representatives of the two governments, passenger trains will run between Cantonment Station in Dhaka and Chitpur Station in Kolkata through the Darshana border for a period of three years. The treaty would be renewed if the two sides find it worthwhile after the period initially agreed upon.I don't know the precise details, but I presume the train service will be direct with no intermediate stops between Kolkata and Dhaka aside from Darshana. This is good for people in Kolkata and Dhaka, but it shuts out anybody living and wanting to travel between these two cities. Nevertheless, it is a welcome step in Indo-Bangla relations, which have often been rocky.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Starting April 14th there will be direct train service between Bangladesh and India for the first time since 1965. This editorial in The Daily Star gives a good summary of this momentous occasion: