India-Bangladesh: Chilahati-Haldibari railway link to reopen after 55 years
India and Bangladesh are all set to reopen the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link. Haldibari is in west Bengal while Chilahati is in Bangladesh. The international border of India-Bangladesh is 4.5 kms from Haldibari and 7.5 kms from Chilahati. This railways link is the 55 years old link between both the countries.
- The railways link will be inaugurated during a virtual bilateral summit on December 17, 2020.
- This railways link was cut off during the India and Pakistan war of year 1965.
- The railway link will now be reopened in order to enhance the connectivity and transport between both the nations.
- The reopening of the railway link is being done in the light of the commitment from both the countries to revive and operationalize the pre-1965 six-railway links running between India and Bangladesh.
- The railway track is 75 kms in length and connects India with the North-eastern states part of it.
- For now, railway link will facilitate the movement of goods cargo. Movement of the passenger will also be resumed soon after the needful infrastructure is ready between the country.
- The reopening of the railway link would help in boosting the connectivity of West Bengal and Assam with Bangladesh.
- The rail link will enhance the railway network accessibility.
- It will boost the economic development and bilateral trade between the countries and also in the region.
- The rail link will also connect the Siliguri Corridor or the Chicken’s neck with the country.
In order to reopen the railway track between the countries, India had handed over 10 broad gauge locomotives to Bangladesh in July 2020. Both the countries are engaging into boosting the rail cooperation so as to mitigate the impact of covid-19.