New Delhi: It was a historic day today as the rail services between Haldibari in West Bengal and Chilahati in Bangladesh resumed in Coochbehar after a gap of 55 years. Notably, the railway line from Haldibari (West Bengal) to Chilahati (Bangladesh) has been defunct since 1965, after rail-links between India and then East-Pakistan had broken. Also Read - AIMIM's West Bengal Acting Chief Joins TMC Days After Owaisi Visited Poll-bound State
“Freight trains are running initially, later passenger trains will run. Businesses in the area will flourish,” a railway official was quoted as saying by ANI. Also Read - Will Convene Assembly Session to Pass Resolution Against Centre’s Farm Laws, Says Mamata Banerjee
The India-Bangladesh cross-border rail route was on Thursday inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
Notably, the distance between Haldibari railway station till the international border is 4.5 kilometres while that from Chilahati in Bangladesh till the zero point is around 7.5 kilometres.
The resumption of railway services in this route will help boost trade, as well as trans-border railway connectivity. Apart from this, the 75-kilometre long track will also help better integrate the rest of the country with the Siliguri corridor, also known as the ‘Chicken’s Neck.’
As per updates, the Chicken’s Neck got its name from the stretch of land being only 22 kilometers wide. This is the only piece of land connecting India with its northeastern states, also known as the ‘Seven Sisters.’