Chilahati-Haldibari Rail Link

India and Bangladesh are set to reopen the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link after more than 5 decades to enhance the connectivity between the two countries. This is part of the commitment to revive and operationalize the six pre-1965 rail links between the two countries. Chilahati-Haldibari link was cut off during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The inauguration of this link happened during the virtual summit that was recently held between the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh.

About Chilahati-Haldibari Rail Link

It is a broad-Gauge route from Kolkata to Siliguri. The rail route will increase the connectivity between West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh. The rail link will also help to increase the bilateral trade between the countries.

India and Bangladesh have been focusing on railway connectivity and had made lot of progress lately. In July 2020, the countries facilitated operationalisation of parcel train and container services.

Why is the link important?

The war of 1965 had cut off several railway links. Therefore, it is essential to revive these links. Also, Siliguri corridor is the only passage through which the Indian main land is connected with the North Eastern states. The connectivity of the North Eastern states shall be increased by reviving and building new rail routes through Bangladesh.

Future Projects

The Karimganj and Mahisashan rail link between Assam and Bangladesh is to be operational from 2022. The other rail link between Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Agartala (India) is to be operational by 2021.

Other Links between India and Bangladesh

The links that are existing between India and Bangladesh are Petrapole (India) to Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) to Darshana (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India) and Birol (Bangladesh).

India-Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in South Asia. By 2024, Bangladesh is expected to graduate from the status of “Least Developed Country” to “Developing Country” by 2024.

India and Bangladesh have a time tested and long lasted Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade. It was signed in 1972. After that it was renewed for the first time in 2015. This led to the addition of more Bangladesh Protocol Routes like Daudkandi to Sonamura.

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