A fully-airconditioned Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree Express with improved coaches was today inaugurated here. Bangladesh Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque and Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla inaugurated the train on the first day of Bangla New Year in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the Indian envoy said they are working to boost comfort for train passengers between Dhaka and Kolkata and have planned to speed up customs and immigration clearance this year, the BD News reported. “This will attend to a long-standing grievance of passengers travelling on the Maitree Express, who have to get down, both at Darshana and Gede, during the journey,” Shringla said.
A total of 456 passengers will now be able to travel in the comfort of air-conditioned coaches, with four of them belonging to the first-class.
The frequency of Kolkata-Dhaka Maitree Express had also been increased from three to four times a week from November 11 last year. Train service between the two nations, which had been discontinued since 1965, was first restored when the Maitree Express between Kolkata and Dhaka was operationalised in 2008.
On April 8, Bangladesh and India flagged off the trial run of the Khulna-Kolkata Express during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India. “We hope to start the regular service on the Khulna- Kolkata route this year,” Shringla said.
He said India-Bangladesh relations have scaled “new heights”. “We hope that this good relationship will continue,” he said.