Jul 27: In a handing over ceremony held today, 10 Broad Gauge (BG) locomotives were virtually flagged off to Bangladesh by the External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, and the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal. The event was also attended by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri Suresh Angadi. From the Bangladesh end, Minister of Railway, Md. Nurul Islam Sujan and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abul Kalam Abdul Momen received the locomotives on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.
The handing over of these locomotives, under grant assistance from the Government of India, fulfills an important commitment made during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to India, in October, 2019. In keeping with the requirements of Bangladesh Railway, the locomotives have been suitably modified by the Indian side. These locomotives will help handle the increasing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh.
Speaking on the occasion, External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar, highlighted the depth of time tested India-Bangladesh ties, based on mutual trust and respect. He expressed his happiness that the COVID pandemic had not slowed down the pace of bilateral cooperation and conveyed that he looked forward to more such milestones in the ongoing historic Mujib Barsho.
Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Shri Piyush Goyal underscored the significance of railway cooperation in enhancing bilateral trade and connectivity and in further boosting the economic partnership between the two countries.
In the recent times, India and Bangladesh have stepped up their rail cooperation in mitigating the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, as trade via land border faced disruptions. Rail as a cost effective and environmental friendly solution, has helped in transporting essential commodities across the border. Both sides saw the highest ever exchange of freight trains in the month of June. A total of 103 freight trains were utilized for carrying essential commodities and raw materials.
Recently, parcel and container train services have also commenced between India and Bangladesh. This is expected to significantly enhance the scope of bilateral trade .