India's Minister of Development of North Eastern Region G Kishan Reddy on Monday said that enhancing comprehensive connectivity between India and Bangladesh through the North East is an important aspect of bilateral cooperation and significant progress has been made in recent years.
Reddy in a written reply in the Indian Lok Sabha said rail and bus services between the two neighbouring countries have resumed after the Covid-19 pandemic, reports ANI.
"Recently, Mitali Express from New Jalpaiguri to Dhaka through Haldibari-Chilahati started operating from 1 June, 2022. This is the third passenger rail service between India and Bangladesh.
"The ongoing Railway projects of 'Agartala-Akhaura- Rail link' connecting Agartala (Tripura) with Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Construction of Mahisasan (India)-Zero Point (Bangladesh) new line shall also improve connectivity between the two countries," ANI quoted the minister as per a press statement from the Ministry of Development of North-East Region.
Construction of Maitri Setu on River Feni in Sabroom has been completed and Royal Maitri International Bus Services from Tripura to Kolkata via Bangladesh by Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) have started.
Further, an MoU for facilitating temporary transit of petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products through Bangladesh to India's North Eastern region has been signed between the Indian road and highways ministry, Bangladesh government and the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd on 2 August.
The minister also said the proposal for developing a road link from Mahendraganj in Meghalaya to Hili in West Bengal through Bangladesh was raised with Bangladesh during the Virtual Summit held in December 2020, as well as during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh in March last year.