Kolkata: An Easter Railway (ER) official on Sunday announced the resuming of the passenger train service between Indian and Bangladesh which was temporarily halted for two years owing to the Covid 19 pandemic travel restrictions.
The service restarted with flagging off the Bandhan Express from Kolkata station on way to Khulna in the neighbouring country. "Passenger train services between India and Bangladesh, which were stopped for over two years owing to the pandemic, resumed with the flagging off of Bandhan Express from Kolkata station at 7:10 am," Ekalavya Chakraborty ER spokesperson said.
According to NDTV, another service is also scheduled between Kolkata and Dhaka on the same day. Maitree Express will travel to the Bangladesh capital on Monday morning in what will be the first journey from Kolkata since March 2020, he added.
Bandhan Express between Kolkata and Khulna will operate on two days a week, while Maitree Express that connecting Kolkata with the Bangladeshi capital will run on five days.
Mr Chakraborty, while speaking to PTI said that both trains are fully booked for the next few days, and that this news has been met with excitement from people on both sides of the border. "With the comfort of train travel and a convenient time schedule along with affordability, people prefer this mode of transport over others such as bus and air," he said.
Comfortable travel is guaranteed with air-conditioned car and executive class category, and will be able to carry around 450 people, he said.
Mr Chakraborty also announced the connectivity to Bangladesh through West Bengal. Mitali Express is expected to be inaugurated on June 1, and will run between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka.
The new service will also boost tourism in northern West Bengal as many travellers from Bangladesh show a keen interest in exploring the Darjeeling Hills and the forests and tea gardens of Dooars in the foothills, he said.