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Modi, Sheikh Hasina flag off new train service

09 November 2017

"I hope this fine display of mutuality of our relationship will further strengthen our bilateral relations".

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday flagged off the Bandhan Express to be run between south-western Bangladeshi city of Khulna and the capital of Indian state of West Bengal Kolkata through a video conferencing. "This train service is a dream come true for people on both sides of the border".

The three also inaugurated two bridges over the rivers Meghna and Titas in Bangladesh. "I am also confident that these services would give a boost to cultural exchanges and tourism between our two peoples", she said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee joined the inauguration through videoconferencing from West Bengal.

Speaking at the event, Modi said India takes pride in being a "reliable partner" in Bangladesh's development and said the two bridges, built at a cost of Dollars 100 million out of India's credit to Bangladesh, would help strengthen the rail network of the latter.

The bridge over the Titas was built by Indian company Gammon-Flcl Consortium.

He said India was proud to be a reliable partner in Bangladeshs development.

"The inauguration of the worldwide passenger terminus will benefit passengers of the Kolkata-Dhaka Maitri Express and Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express". Immigration and customs facilities were also inaugurated at Kolkata station.

"With these links, and today's projects, we have taken a few more steps in the right direction", the Prime Minister said.

Bangladesh values such engagements so "we can live as good neighbours and pursue constructive policies for the benefit of our people".

While Bengal chief minister described the launch as a remarkable moment for India and Bangladesh.

New bus and train services had been announced during Hasina's visit to India in April.

Modi, Sheikh Hasina flag off new train service