Bangladesh Awami League presidium member and Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton held a meeting with Railway Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan, MP regarding Rajshahi-Kolkata direct passenger train operation.
This meeting of Rasik Mayor with Railway Minister was held at Railway Bhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday (July 19) noon. At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Khairuzzaman Liton gave the DO letter to the Railway Minister to start the Rajshahi-Kolkata train. In the meeting, the Railway Minister assured to take necessary measures in this regard.
Rasik Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton mentioned in the DO letter, ‘People of Rajshahi region are constantly traveling to India for business, higher education, sightseeing, especially better medical treatment. As there is no direct transport from Rajshahi to India, the people of this region are facing various problems. For this reason, there is a long-standing demand for direct passenger train movement with India by rail among the people of this region. It should be noted that the history of rail communication between Bangladesh and India is very old. As a part of this, it can be said that the Gede Railway of India through the Darshana border was built during the British period. At present Bangladesh-India Maitri Express runs through Darshana border to Kolkata. I think that Rajshahi-Kolkata passenger trains will be easier as there is rail connectivity like Dhaka-Kolkata and Khulna-Kolkata.’
The mayor also said, ‘If the direct passenger train runs to Rajshahi and India’s Kolkata, the people of the northern region, famous for its granaries, will benefit the most in terms of receiving medical services. India is their first choice for any type of medical treatment. From regular health checkup to cancer, liver, eye, neurology and heart surgery, many people travel from Rajshahi to hospitals in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Vellore, Hyderabad to get treatment every day. Kolkata is the first choice destination for medical tourism due to its proximity and common language and culture. Not only that, when Rajshahi and Kolkata direct passenger trains start running, there will be massive development in business and other areas. This will increase the exchange of education, culture and knowledge between Bangladesh and India and the people of both countries will benefit greatly. People of this area can easily travel from Rajshahi to Kolkata and India as rail travel is safe, comfortable and cost effective. There will be an unprecedented expansion of industrialization along with trade. I believe that it is the demand of the time to establish a direct passenger train connection with India, a neighboring friendly country, to achieve the goals of SDG by 2030 and to build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh by 2041, including advancing the progress of the development of Rajshahi and the northern region. In the light of the stated facts, you are specially requested to take necessary measures regarding direct passenger train movement from Rajshahi to Kolkata via Darshana border.’