Mitali Express: Third India-Bangladesh passenger train flagged off today
Passenger train accessibility between India and Bangladesh advanced on Wednesday, with railway ministers of the two nations virtually inaugurating the New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Mitali Express, according to a Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) official. The train began its journey from West Bengal's New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. Both countries already run the Maitree and Bandhan express trains, which connect Kolkata to Dhaka and Khulna, respectively.
Why does this story matter?
The train will travel 595 kilometers between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka, with 69 kilometers in India and remaining in Bangladesh. It will have no stops in between except for two technical halts at Haldibari, the last station on the Indian side, and Chilahati, the first station on the Bangladesh side. It will help bolster cultural and social ties while boosting tourism between both countries.
Official statement over the development
"Indian Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and his Bangladeshi counterpart Md Nurul Islam Sujan virtually flagged off the inaugural run of Mitali Express from Delhi at 9.20 a.m. on Wednesday," said Sabyasachi De, NFR spokesperson. According to De, the air-conditioned train has four chair cars and four sleeper coaches. Jayanta Roy, local MP, remarked that the service satisfies a long-standing need of the travel industry.
All about India-Bangladesh's third passenger train
The 13132 New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Cantonment train will run twice a week, on Sunday and Wednesday, and the 13131 Dhaka Cantonment-New Jalpaiguri, Mitali Express train will run every Monday and Thursday. In nine hours, the train will travel from India to Bangladesh. Tickets for cabin berths cost Rs. 4,905, cabin chair car tickets are Rs. 3,805, and AC chair car tickets are Rs. 2,707 each.
Mitali Express will increase opportunities for northern West Bengal: GM
General Manager (GM) of NFR Anshul Gupta, who was present at the New Jalpaiguri station for the opening ceremony run of the international service, stated that the new train connectivity will increase possibilities for tourism and trade between Bangladesh and northern West Bengal. The latter is graced with several tourist destinations in the Darjeeling Hills and forests and tea gardens in the Dooars.
The train is ready and safe to travel: DRM Kathiar
The Divisional Railway Manager of the Katihar division of NFR, Suvendhu Kumar Chaudhury, reportedly said, "We are ready to start the services, the train is ready with maximum facilities. Around 15-20 passengers have already booked their tickets." "It's a direct service, with no pantry-car facility. We have installed a number of CCTV cameras at the platform," he added, amongst other safety measures.