The delegation level Inter-Governmental Railway meeting between India and Bangladesh was held here from 14th to 16th January 2013. On the agenda for this meeting, there were items relating to technical, operational and financial matters such as improvement in running of Maitree Express, streamlining of inter-country freight train operations, upgrading infrastructure and establishing more rail connectivity points to enhance people-to-people contact between the two countries. This inter-ministerial bilateral meeting is held alternately in Dhaka and New Delhi and provides a forum for discussion for important railway related issues.
With a view to increasing people-to-people contact between India and Bangladesh, it was decided to expedite the projects for opening rail links between Akhaura (Bangladesh) – Agartala (India), Chilahati (Bangladesh) – Haldibari (India), Shahbazpur (Bangladesh) – Mahishashan (India) and Birol (Bangladesh) – Radhikapur (India) and also examine the feasibility of establishing a rail link between Feni (Bang;ladesh) and Belonia (India).
Both the delegations agreed to examine the feasibility of increasing the frequency of Maitree Express and introducing the system of return tickets. A Working Group comprising of Government officials from both countries has been formed. It will o into the total gamut issues relating to financial, operational, commercial and security issues including passenger comfort associated with the running of Maitree Express. The Working Group will submit its report soon. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Devi Prasad Pande, Additional Member (Traffic), Railway Board and Bangladesh delegation was led by Mr. Shah Zahirul Islam, Additional Director General (Operation). The discussions were held and concluded in a cordial constructive atmosphere.