During the recent bilateral meet, Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link virtually. After the inauguration, the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link has become the 5th operational link between both countries.
Key Points for UPSC Prelims
- The railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in Bangladesh was operational till 1965, as a part of the broad-gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri.
- However, after the war of 1965, the railway links between India and the then East Pakistan was effectively cut off, thereby cutting this rail link.
- Haldibari-Chilahati is a 12 km long rail link.
- In 2015, after the Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting, the construction of a new broad-gauge line from Haldibari to Chilahati was sanctioned.
- Now, in 2020 the Chilahati-Haldibari Link has been reopened. The Indian government has restored railway tracks from the up to the international border from Haldibari railway station at a cost of Rs 82.72 crores.
Operational Railway Links between India and Bangladesh
At present, there are four operational rail links between India and Bangladesh namely Gede (India)-Darshana (Bangladesh), Petrapole (India)-Benapole (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India)-Birol (Bangladesh), and Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh).
A road connecting India and Bangladesh – Swadhinata Sarak will become functional on March 26, 2021. The road will connect Mujibnagar, Meherpur district of Bangladesh. The Indian side of the road is already functional. The road was constructed in the year 1971.
Agreement for COVID-19 Vaccine between India and Bangladesh
Recently, the Bangladesh government has signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII) for the procurement of 3 crore doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine. As per the agreement, the vaccine will be delivered to Bangladesh in 6 installments of 50 lakh doses each.