'Bandhan' between Khulna, Kolkata

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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were also present for the flagging off ceremony, which was done via video conferencing.

The train has been named as "Bandhan Express" and it will operate on the 177-km-long Khulna-Kolkata route and the distance will be traversed within four-and-half hours. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also described it as a historic day for both the countries.

She also mentioned the inauguration of Khulna-Kolkata rail service and said that this bond won't remain in only rail, it will also create bonds between the people of the two countries.

The bridges will strengthen Bangladesh's rail network and "will help faster movement of both passenger and freight trains in Dhaka-Chittagong routes in Bangladesh", said a Railways Ministry tweet.

"These new modes of connectivity are adding diverse dimensions to our overall connectivity architecture.I am happy to note that we have recently extended our connectivity to the space too", she said.

"I am sure we would be having many more similar, happy occasions in the days ahead for the greater benefit of our people.I look forward to working with your Excellency in our joint endeavour", she said.

The dignitaries also inaugurated the International Passenger Rail Terminal, End-to-End Immigration and Customs Clearance Facilities (for passengers of Maitree Express and Bandhan Express) at Kolkata station, under the India-Bangladesh Cooperation in Railways.

He said India was proud to be a reliable partner in Bangladesh's development.


She said Bangladesh-India relations are in fact setting new high standards of bilateral cooperation in the region and beyond.

She also invited Hasina over to Bengal.

"Whenever we talk about connectivity, I always remember your vision to restore India-Bangladesh rail links that existed before 1965", Modi told Hasina during the video conference.

"The relations between the two countries will strengthen in the future", she said.

The bridge over the Titas was built by Indian company Gammon-Flcl Consortium.

The two railway bridges have been built at a cost of $100 million, which has been met from India's $8 billion soft loan to Bangladesh.

The Bandhan Express will start ferrying passengers from November 16 onwards. It would reach Khulna in Bangladesh at about 12 noon, IST.

The up train from Dhaka would move through one bridge, while the down one would use the other while the trains connecting Dhaka with the major two cities could ply without any crossing at Bhairab and Akhaura stations.

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