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India, Bangladesh launch connectivity projects

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka/Kolkata 

A number of connectivity projects, including a new passenger train service between and Bangladesh's southwestern industrial city of Khulna, were today launched by Prime Minister Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina that will help reduce the travel time by three hours.

These projects also include the second Bhairab and Titas railway bridges built at the cost of USD 100 million; and the International Rail Passenger Terminus at Chitpur in

The two leaders through videoconferencing flagged off the inaugural run of the Bandhan Express, a fully air-conditioned weekly passenger train service, between and Khulna.

Chief Minister joined the inauguration through videoconferencing from

On the occasion, Modi said the ties of friendship between and have further strengthened.

Modi said in Bengali, 'Aaj ei shubho uplokkhe dui desh bashider amar abhinandan janai. Aaj amader moitreyee, bandhon aro sudriro holo' (I congratulate the people of the two countries on this auspicious occasion. Our ties of friendship got more strengthened today.)

Modi said he was happy to launch the important projects to enhance connectivity.

"The most important dimension of the connectivity is the people-to-people linkage," Modi said.

"The inauguration of the international passenger terminus will benefit passengers of the Kolkata-Dhaka Maitri Express and Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express. It will not only help them in customs and immigration but also save three hours of their travel time. The two rail services are named according to our shared vision," he said.

He said was proud to be a reliable partner in Bangladesh's development.

"I am happy to know that work is in progress in our USD 8 billion concessional finance commitment. Development and connectivity are interconnected and we have taken steps to strengthen the decades-old historical links specially between the people of and Bangladesh," Modi said.

Modi said he believed that the two nations will touch the new heights in development and prosperity as they strengthen ties and relations between the people.

He Hasina and Banerjee for their support.

Hasina said, "Today is a great day for relations between the two countries with the inauguration of the train services and the two bridges. This train service is a dream come true for people on both sides of the border."

She said her country wanted collaborative engagements with and other neighbours for regional peace and prosperity.

"We want to cooperate with India and other countries in the immediate neighbourhood for creating an area of peace in South Asia where we can live as good neighbours and pursue constructive policies for our peoples benefit," she said.

Hasina said Bangladesh-India had set new high standards of bilateral cooperation which was essential for regional development.

Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also joined the premiers through videoconferencing.

Chief Minister Banerjee described the launch of the projects as a remarkable day for India and

"The relations between the two countries will strengthen in the future," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 09 2017. 15:07 IST