widenews desk: From next January a passenger train service between Khulna and Kolkata via Benapole-Petrapole will be started.
Railway sources said the passenger train will run on the Khulna-Benapole-Kolkata route, which had earlier existed, once a week from each side. However, the frequency of the service and the number of connecting stations will be increased later if necessary.
The route will be reintroduced early in January to facilitate the travel of passport passengers between the two countries as per the decision of the heads of government of Bangladesh and India, said Additional General Manager of Bangladesh Railway Habibur Rahman on Thursday.
Noting that India Railway has already started the renovation work on their portion of the route, he underscored the need for speedily completing the necessary work on Bangladesh’s part.
The railway official was speaking at a meeting with local business leaders, customs officials and journalists after visiting Benapole Railway Station here.
Bangladesh Railway (West) General Manager Khairul Haque, Rajshahi Divisional Commercial Officer Mihir Kanti Guha, Pakshi Railway Manager Afzal Hossain, police super of Syedpur railway police Tanjirul Islam, joint commissioner of Benapole Customs House Mostafizur Rahman, president of Benapole C&F Agents’ Association Mofizur Rahman Sajan and chairman of Land Port Subcommittee of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce Matiar Rahman were present at the meeting.
At present, the Maitree Express, which was re-launched on April 14, 2008, runs between Kolkata and Dhaka through the Darshana-Gede border.
Regular passenger train services existed between Khulna and Sealdah station through the Benapole-Petrapole route before the creation of East Pakistan in 1947.
Since 1947, passenger train service on this route has remained closed. Goods train service between the two countries through Benapole-Petrapole border was reintroduced in January, 2001.