Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujon on Wednesday flagged off ‘Mitali Express’ between New Jalpaiguri (India) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) via video conferencing.
This is the third passenger train between the two nations that was flagged off from Rail Bhawan in New Delhi today.
Speaking on the occasion, Vaishnaw called the Mitali Express “yet another milestone” in bolstering the friendship between the two nations. “The relationship between India and Bangladesh is based upon our shared heritage, our shared present and our shared future. The development that we have in both the countries is today accelerated in a very big way by the warm friendship between the two nations at all levels,” he said.
🇮🇳 & 🇧🇩 Towards shared heritage, shared present and shared future!
Flagged off "Mitali Express" between New Jalpaiguri (India) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) with His Excellency Md Nurul Islam Sujan. pic.twitter.com/CYlVK0Jzva
— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) June 1, 2022
“Mitali Express will be yet another milestone in increasing this friendship, in strengthening this bond, in improving this relationship,” the Railway Minister added. The Union Minister recalled India’s aid to the neighbouring country during the COVID pandemic and said that India had transported about 4,000 tonnes of liquid oxygen and that was another small little contribution to the friendship between the two countries.
Railways Minister of Bangladesh Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujon while speaking on the occasion remembered the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives for the liberation of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). The Minister also mentioned about his government’s plan to convert all railway tracks to broad gauge to be at par with neighbouring countries.
The New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Cantonment train, bearing number 13132, will run two days a week, i.e., on Sunday and Wednesday and for the return journey, train no 13131, Dhaka Cantonment-New Jalpaiguri, Mitali Express will run every Monday and Thursday. The train will cover the distance of around 513km between New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Dhaka Cantonment in Bangaldesh in nine hours.
As of now, the train will run with four air-conditioned cabin coaches, and four air-conditioned chair cars and will be hauled by a diesel locomotive. Suvendhu Kumar Chaudhury, DRM, Katihar division of Northeast Frontier Railway said, “We are ready to start the services, the train is ready with maximum facilities. Around 15-20 passengers have already booked their tickets for the first journey.”