New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina held a virtual meet on Thursday and jointly inaugurated the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between India & Bangladesh. The trans-border railway line has been restored after 55 years, and is expected to enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh. The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was part of the broad gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri. However, the war of 1965 effectively cut off all the railway links. Initially, the rail link will facilitate the movement of goods cargo. Passenger movement will also commence on the development of infrastructure on both sides.Also Read - Pride, Parade And Poise: India to Witness Many Firsts at 73rd Republic Day Ceremony
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1) Speaking at the virtual meet, the Bangladesh PM said, “I pay deep homage to the 3 million martyrs who laid their lives. I pay tribute to the members of the Indian armed forces martyred in the 1971 war. I pay my gratitude to the govt and people of India who extended wholehearted support for the cause of our liberation.” Also Read - Budget Glossary 2022: Key Economic Terms Decoded to Understand FM Nirmala Sitharaman's Speech
2) Sheikh Hasina also commended the Indian government for manner in which COVID-19 situation was handled across the country.
3) Modi, on the other hand, said, “Bangladesh is a significant pillar of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. To strengthen relations with Bangladesh has been a priority for me since the first day.”
4) “This year has been full of challenges due to the COVID19 pandemic. During this time, there has been good cooperation between our countries in the sphere of working with health professions, COVID19 vaccine etc,” he added.
5) PM Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition. They also launched the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between India & Bangladesh.