At a time when bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh are rapidly improving, the two sides have begun an exercise to benefit their peoples by easing travel by Maitree Express, the direct Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka passenger train started four years ago.
An important decision taken by the two sides is that immigration forms of both the countries would be distributed inside the train so that the time taken at the border stations could be reduced. Besides, the train may soon offer airline type baggage facility for passengers. The Governments of India and Bangladesh had constituted an Empowered Joint Group to suggest measures to ease travel by Maitree Express, the bi-weekly train introduced in April 2008. The Group recently held its first meeting in Rail Bhawan.
The Group is also examining the possibilities of introducing airlines type baggage in the Maitree Express. It was also agreed that the passenger amenities at the two border stations like Gede (India) and Darsana (Bangladesh) would be improved. The Empowered Joint Group decided that efforts would be made to reduce the running time in both the countries. The meeting was concluded with both sides reiterating their commitment to strive towards easing travel by Maitree Express.
Both sides agreed that Maitree Express is a symbol of people to people connectivity and the deep abiding friendship between the two countries. To make this bi-weekly train more popular, the Empowered Joint Group decided that they would formulate certain short term, medium term and long term measures to ease the travel by this train. (FOC)