October 19, 2021, 1:10 pm
Md. Abu Hasan, Nilphamari: After 55 years, the people of the region are in a frenzy after the rail link between Chilahati in Nilphamari and Haldibari in India was reopened.
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the rail link on Thursday (December 16) through video conferencing after half a century of breaking through thick fog.
The people of Uttar Janap were overwhelmed by the inauguration of this transit railway. With the launch of this railway, the development revolution in the region will start today and various businesses will be expanded.
Attended today’s event, Railway Minister Adv. Nurul Islam Sujan, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Jatiya Sangsad MP Nilphamari 1st and 4th MP Bir Muktijoddha Aftab Uddin Sarkar, Ahsan Adelur Rahman Adel, Women MP Rabeya Alim, District Council Chairman Bir Muktijoddha Joynal Abedin, District Awami League President and Municipal Mayor Kamal Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner Hafizur Rahman Chowdhury, Superintendent of Police Mokhlesur Rahman, Bangladesh Railway, Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), Customs, Fire Service and Civil Defense, as well as officials of various organizations.
Railway Minister Adv. Nurul Islam Sujan said that when asked about the works of the project, he said that the approved cost of the project is Tk 60.17 crore.
Under the existing contract of the project, the main work is construction of new railway (mainline) 6.824 km, construction of new railway (loopline) 2.37 km, construction of minor bridge 6, level crossing gate 2, color light signaling, including telecommunication system. Introduction – 1 station.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said,
The launch of the Chilahati Railway will strengthen trade activities by improving the communication infrastructure to handle import and export activities between the Mongla Port of Bangladesh and the North and South West of India, the northeastern part of India, Nepal and Bhutan. This will increase the revenue of the railways. Bangladeshi tourists can travel to North East India including Darjeeling quickly and easily.
Train Director Md. Shahidul Islam said, “I congratulate the Prime Ministers of the two countries on the launch of the train in the month of Vijay and I will continue to perform my duties in Bangladesh Railway for the rest of my life.”
Locals Manzoor Ahmed Don and Saiful Islam said, “We have been suffering so much the previous days. It seems that after a long time we will be able to go to India easily for medical services, business and travel.” They congratulated the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi for this.
It may be mentioned that after the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, due to the closure of rail link from Chilahati to Haldibari, large sections of the population of the two countries were deprived of railway services and gradually fell behind in trade and commerce. The present government is relentlessly working for the development of trade and tourism sector by strengthening inter-regional connectivity.
There was a railway connection between India and the then East Pakistan through Chilahati and Haldibari. After the Indo-Pakistani war in 1965, trains were stopped on this route. Although the history of rail communication between Bangladesh and India is very old. In 182, the railway started its journey from Chuadanga to Jagati with the construction of 53.11 km broad gauge railway line.
Between 184 and 179 a meter gauge railway was built from Sara (near Pakshi) to Chilahati and a broad gauge railway line was built from Damukdia (opposite Sara) to Poradaha. In 1909, the single line from Poradaha to Bheramara was converted into a double line.
With the opening of the Hardinge Bridge on 1 January 1915, a direct railway connection was established from Darshan to Chilahati. The meter gauge railway line from Santahar to Parbatipur was converted to broad gauge in 1924 and from Parbatipur to Chilahati in 1926.
At this time high speed trains called Darjeeling Express and North Bengal Express were started between Sealdah and Siliguri via Santahar-Parbatipur. This route was then considered a backbone for rail communication.
Due to the fact that this link of the railway has not been operational for a long time, huge population of the two countries have been deprived of railway services and the trade between the two countries has been gradually declining.
Railway connections have been established at 4 out of 6 interchange points between Bangladesh and India. At present Chilahati-Haldibari rail link is being connected as the 5th interchange point.